In Argentina, visitation rights for dogs established for the first time in a divorce

LETTER FROM BUENOS AIRES

After fifteen years of living together, including nine years married, Amorina Bascoy, 47, and Emmanuel Medina, 42, made this decision, without turmoil: the time had come to continue their journey separately. Calmly, they observed what they had acquired during these years and came to an agreement. Amorina, a nurse, would keep one of the two cars and Emmanuel, an employee in a business, the other vehicle. Without real estate, without children and above all without conflicts, they knew that their divorce would also be uneventful.

But Kiara and Popeye? The fate of the two 9-year-old and 6-year-old black-haired dogs, pampered and adored, found on the street when they were puppies, witnesses and fruits of the old home, remained unclear, in the absence of clear legal rules.

On September 26, justice ruled, in San Isidro (suburb of Buenos Aires), in an unprecedented decision. Amorina Bascoy retains custody of Popeye and Emmanuel Medina that of Kiara, while a broad custody regime has been approved, which can range from visits to alternating stay, an organization that the former couple is free to determine on a daily basis.

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“Animals, especially pets, are sentient beings (…) who experience lack, rejoice, suffer and form habits, therefore there is no doubt that the change brought about by the separation of spouses will also affect them., motivated magistrate Diana Veronica Sica. A judgment that questions the link with animals, the definition of the family and its interpretation by law.

“It would have broken my heart not to see Popeye again. These dogs, we love them and they have a pure, noble love for us. We wanted to think about their interestexplains Emmanuel Medina. And I know that if one day the custody system is not respected, I could take legal action to see Popeye. »

“When they get together, it’s party time! »

The permanent custody of the dogs was decided easily, the Labrador Popeye showing more ties for his mistress and Kiara, a cross, for his master. “In the evening, if I stay up too late, she comes and puts a paw on my knee to tell me to go to bed. She watches TV with me, she really appreciates when there are animals on the screen. She’s always happy.”says, with a smile, the forties who, for a month, has been organizing long walks with the two dogs, about twice a week: “When they get together, it’s party time! »

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