Woman seeks visitation with dog she shared with ex-boyfriend

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A custody battle in Maine between a woman and her former boyfriend focuses not on a child but on a dog.

The woman is seeking visitation rights with the boxer-lab mix named Honey and will appear in Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday.

Maine law allows a judge to order married couples to share custody of animals, but not to unmarried couples who split up.

Twenty-five-year-old Jessica Sardina says pets should not be treated simply as property when a relationship terminates. She is appealing a lower court judge’s decision to grant sole custody to 25-year-old Kelvin Liriano.

A judge ruled that Liriano is Honey’s exclusive owner because his signature appeared on adoption papers.

Sardina has said Honey “means the absolute world” to her. Liriano says there’s no legal precedent to Sardina’s request.


This story has been corrected to show the dog is a boxer-lab mix, not a lab-shepherd mix.

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