A rather long article written in the Boston Globe. The entire version can be found http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/09/09/lawyer_for_the_dog/
"IN RECENT YEARS, Dr. Amy Marder, a veterinarian practicing in Lexington, has found herself called upon to decide which human "parent" a pet prefers.
Pet custody disputes have become an increasingly common fixture in divorce cases and Marder, an animal behavior specialist, has consulted in several. To do a proper evaluation, she likes to spend at least an hour and a half with the couple and the pet. She asks the owners a barrage of questions: which of the two spends more time with the animal, who plays with it more, who feeds it. She asks about the pet's upbringing, its temperament, how much it exercises."
-----As recently as 10 years ago, evaluating who a pet would go to in a divorce was almos absurd to lawyers. Today, though, it's a more common practice. Here is another interesting tidbit from the article:
"Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia now allow pet owners to endow pet trusts, the kind of legislation that made it possible for New York hotel billionaire Leona Helmsley to bequeath $12 million to her dog, Trouble. In some states, veterinarians are now required to report suspicions of animal abuse in the same way pediatricians have to report child abuse. Courts are starting to take seriously the claim that pet owners are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering in cases involving the death of an animal. And, in a Tennessee case this spring, a court appointed a legal guardian to represent the interests of a dog in a custody dispute."
---Or this tidbit---
"At the same time, the field of animal law is growing. Nearly half of the 190 accredited law schools in the United States now offer animal law courses, up from a handful 10 years ago, and around 100 now have chapters of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. A rising number of lawyers are dedicating themselves, in whole or in part, to the practice, and the American Bar Association and 13 state bar associations now have animal law committees."
---Insert your best lawyer joke here. But let's face it, as the pet industry has grown, it was only natural that more and more lawyers would get involved.