If you've ever had a dog, then you know that they are our faithful companions. Did you know that in six states, they are also legally considered part of the family?

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According to an article in the Daily Mail, six states recognize the special bond between humans and their dogs. They have given our four-legged friends legal status as family members...and that includes New York.

The States That Recognize Dogs as Family

The six states that consider dogs as family members are New York, Alaska, California, Illinois, Maine, and New Hampshire. In these states, pets are not just pets, but members of the family.

This legal recognition means there can be legal decisions made, including custody battles. In cases of divorce or separation, disputes over who gets to keep the dog can be settled by a judge who will decide in the best interest of the furry family member.

Factors Considered in Custody Battles

When determining custody, courts will take several factors into account. One factor is the ability of the person to care for the dog. The judge can also look at the relationship between the dog and other family members.

In New York, the primary caretaker, the health of the owners, work schedules, even vet records, photos, and videos can determine who gets to keep the dog.

A Recognized Bond

The majority of states don't officially grant legal status to dogs as family members, but the United States government has recognized their importance. During Hurricane Katrina, many people refused to leave without their pets, so Congress passed the PETS Act in 2006. This act makes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) give shelter for household pets during emergencies.

Woof, Woof! Check Out the Most Popular Dog Names in New York

Trying to settle on a name for your new pup? You might be able to draw some inspiration from these names which, according to Wag Walking, are the most popular dog names in New York

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

The 5 Most Popular Dog Names In New York State

Looking for some inspiration to name the newest furry, 4-legged member of your family? Maybe you could use this list for inspiration, or maybe this list will send you in another direction to find a more unique name for your dog. Either way, these are the 5 most popular dog names in New York according to US News.

Gallery Credit: Matty Jeff

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