PETA Statement: Animals Are More Than ‘Property’

For Immediate Release:
May 29, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Augusta, Maine – Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman regarding the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s affirmance of a lower court’s ruling that dogs are simple “property,” rather than family members, in a custody dispute case:

A car is a piece of property, but a dog is a member of the family. States allow animals to be included in trusts, and several states require courts to consider an animal’s interests in custody disputes. No animal should be used as a pawn in someone’s divorce, and PETA urges all courts to apply the same “best interests” standard used in child custody cases to any dispute over a dog or cat.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. More information is available at

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind