Albertan ordered to pay ex-wife $200 a month for pet support
EDMONTON - For the first time in Canada, a court has ordered a man to give his ex-wife monthly support payments for their dog.
Kenneth Duncan, a truck driver in Edmonton, was told to pay $200 a month in alimony towards the upkeep of Crunchy, a St. Bernard.
Alberta Justice Donald Lee rejected Duncan's request to pay a monthly $25 towards feeding the big four-year-old, arguing a dog the size of a St. Bernard would eat quite a bit more than a small breed.
Had Crunchy been a child, the monthly payment would have been $691, based on Duncan's annual salary of $84,000.
The court also ordered Duncan to make a retroactive payment of $2,000, and did not give him visiting rights. Besides food, the money will go toward health bills and general caregiving.
But U.S. courts are increasingly ruling pets are more akin to children. American judges have begun to rule on joint custody, visitation rights and support payments.
The result is a whole new branch of litigation and legal websites dedicated to fighting for the rights of a pet in the event of a divorce.
Written by CBC News Online staff