Okay, if you're a dog lover, or pet lover in general, a law isn't necessary to determine that our pet is oh so absolutely and totally a member of the family. However, when it comes to the law and all of that legal jargon, this info is actually quite interesting.

According to Daily Mail, most of us can agree that a dog is a woman's and man's best friend however there are only six states in the entire country where our pup is considered a legal family member. Those states are Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, California and Alaska.

So what does this mean?

According to Daily Mail, when our pets are legally family members just as much as humans, attorneys and judges can make decisions in custody cases just like they often do with children.

According to Psychology Today, while the majority of us pet owners wholeheartedly consider our dog a family member, most courts consider them property which is a bit tough to swallow when put in those terms. Psychology Today says that around 90% of we dog owners not only treat our pets like family members, but we consider them as such versus referring to them as property.


While the consensus legally speaking in most states is that when all is said and done a dog is a dog and by law, is property with no familial rights, according to Psychology Today, we do see that changing because of emotional bonds and a pet's well-being.

What is comes down to for these six states is that just like custody situations with children, it's all about what's in the best interest of the pet in terms of each person's ability and willingness to care for the dog, and the well-being and safety of the animal.

I mean when you put it that way, how can a state not make this a law when we're talking about a living, breathing beloved animal who should have well-being rights, too?

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Reichard