Shellie Zimmerman's divorce petition became public on Friday in Sanford, Fla. The estranged wife of George Zimmerman, Shellie, 26, is ready to begin her new life - and she wants her beloved dogs to be a part of that life change.
According to FoxNews,com, Shellie is asking for full custody of the couple's two dogs; two-year-old Rottweiler, Oso and an eight-year-old mixed breed pooch named Leroy. The couple have no children.
The current Mrs. Zimmerman is asking for the equal distribution of their marital assets including any settlement her husband may receive in his current defamation suit against NBC.
George Zimmerman,29, was found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin in August. Shellie pleaded guilty two weeks ago to misdemeanor perjury charges for lying about the couple's finances. She was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. George was not in the courtroom for his wife's sentencing.
It has not been revealed if the custody of the two dogs has become contentious yet, but it is important to realize for anyone going through tumultuous times in their lives, that dogs get angry and sad and experience most of the same emotions their humans feel. Too often dogs become hostages in divorce cases.
Unfortunately the law does not view a dog's future during a divorce as "custody." Judges often do not take the emotional welfare of an animal companion as anything else except as "property."
Going through a terrible time? Don't be surprised if Fido or Fluffy (or perhaps your beloved horse in the barn) begins to misbehave. Dogs can show their displeasure by chewing, barking, or going to the bathroom in the home.
Try to make the transition of divorce as civilized as possible. Keep changes to a minimum, avoid screaming and yelling in front of pets, don't strike out when Fido misbehaves, and when all else fails, take your beloved four-legged companion to a veterinarian for a checkup. This might be the time to bring in an animal behaviorist or administer mild sedatives prescribed by a professional.
Remember your animal companion is a living being with emotions of his own.
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