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I may be jumping the gun here and I will TRY to keep this as short and simple as possible.

My ex-husband is trying to get custody of our two children. One of their "concerns" for the children is that my ex had allergies to animals. My kids do not, if they did they would have cropped up years ago! I do admit, four dogs and two cats, with a come and go stray cat I feed is alot. But I am an animal lover, as well as my children. If I left it to my oldest daughter every stray in the world she saw would be living in my home.

They are trying to bring up how a German Shepherd is a "guard dog" and not good around children. I am already printing out everything that shows they are great with kids. However finding information like that on Chihuahua's is not as easy. They have said things like these dogs hate children, blah blah blah... well, as we all know that is not the case. Sure some don't like small children, but heck, some large dogs don't either. I made sure all my furkids could get along with each other as well as my children. I would NEVER put either of them, furkids or my kids, in danger for a second if I thought they would not be able to get along.

I just don't know what to do. The judge continued our case until late December, and I feel I need to either do something or just continue to stand my ground. I am also going to locate all the information I can from the web as well as my doctor on how young children growing up in a home with animals are less likely to develop allergies later on in life.

My mother and others in my family have stated that I should get rid of my animals before i go back to court to show the judge that I am willing to do anything to keep my kids. I would and will do anything to keep my children, but I just can't see how getting rid of all my animals is the right thing to do.

What are your thoughts on this, or do you have any great info I can find to support these facts about chis and allergies etc.???
I don't want to see my family fall apart! But I guess the judge could order me to remove most if not all my animals from the home, or worse, just give the children to their father. Their father BTW is in the Navy, and moves ALL the time, he could even be stationed as far away as Spain in the next few years.

Sorry, it has been a VERY emotional few weeks for me.
MD
 

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Hi there,
Sorry for your struggle :cry: . I grew up with birds and got allergies from them. Since that, I have become allergic to cats and some dogs. Although I am not allergic in the least bit to my long hair chi. I think there are many big and small dogs that dont like children but Germans and Chi's aren't that bad. I know people that have both and they play great with kids. I think either size dog can get irritate at a child if he pulls their tale, ears, etc. I havn't heard of Chi's or Germans hurting a child before. I'll take a look on the Internet for you and see if I can find any info for you. One thing I do know is that kids that grow up with animals tend to grow up to be better people. They learn responsibilities, how to love and care for animals, etc. Put a smile on :) and have faith that everything will be ok.
 

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Oh my gosh I am sorry to hear about your issue. :(

If possible, I would videotape your children playing/interacting with the pets. Don't stage it; just videotape them doing their normal thing. Show the love between your children and animals. I don't see how a judge could stereotype an animal and therefore base such a huge decision on that stereotype.

Regarding allergies, I have read (and if you need me to, I will look for it online) that if a child grows up around animals they are less likely to develop allergies of animals. Even adults that are allergic to, for instance, cats, can become less allergic if they are around one frequently.

Good luck!
 

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I honestly dont think a judge will take your kids away or make you get rid of your animals w/out some concrete medical info from a doc stating this is causing a problem. I think his strategy will backfire
 

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Hi there!
Sorry to hear about what is going on. Remember I am from Missouri also and am dealing w/some issues myself. My 2 older girls haven't seen their dad in 4 years, but they have lived w/my hubby and me since they were babies. I have learned so much about Missouri law when it comes to divorce and childsupport and such and never heard that this could even be an issue!! Please get a lawyer and if you do not have one, you can get one through the state for free (it is called M.A.R.K.) I can double check that for you. If I were in your shoes, my kids would and always will come first, so maybe I would have to see if my mom or some near relatives could watch them till it is over and tell the judge you have given them away if it does become an issue. Then if is doesn't become an issue, bring your pups back home. Talk to your lawyer. I thought the only way it would be an issue is if your kids had asthma or something like that. Gosh, what if they lived on a farm and believe me lots of kids do. I think you are gonna be ok, I really do!! Call division of family services and tell them you need a lawyer!!
 

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That must be a horrible situation to be in. If I HAD to, I would find my animals new homes before losing my daughter. But DON'T get them new homes yet. Boogaloo had a great idea. If the Judge could see them interacting with the animals, then he could see how good they are.

From any case I have seen it's very hard for a father to get custody of their kids unless the mother is proved unfit somehow and having animals does not make you unfit. Also considering he is in the Navy and moves alot I think it is highly unlikely he could get custody. They try to keep the best for the kids in mind and with him moving around alot they would be separated from you. And plus, leaving the country, I really don't see the judge ever granting permission for that. I think everything will turn out o.k. for you. If all your ex has, is that you have animals, his case isn't anything but B.S. :wink:
 

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I agree with kemos mama - no judge will take your kids from a home they have lived in and give them to a father in the navy who could not look after them aswell it is proven kids who have pets are more well adjmusted etc - there is a famous saying not sure who by but it is - "every child deserves a dog and a mother who will let them have one" also there is no evidence that a chihuahua who has grown up with the kids is any more likely to snap than any other breed :wave:
 

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If it came to losing my kids I would in a heart beat find new homes for them. I adore my animals but I would move heaven and earth for my boys.
I don't see how your having pets would make a difference unless you were struggling to feed everyone, hurting your children or if you didn't keep up w/ the pets....like leaving feces or peepee laying around. Like everyone else says. if he is in the navy they are not going to take the kids from you. it sounds like he is grasping at straws to try to get his kids. I know it's easy for me to say..but I think your safe.
I wish you the best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone! I thought it sounded really stupid as well. But for whatever reason they have brought up my animals to each and every person that has been on the stand. This isn't over yet, but I thought I would get everyone opinion here about the animals.

As for trying to prove me unfit... it is laughable at best. Trying to say my house is unclean because the animals shed etc. and the cats will jump up on my dinning room table and kitchen counters. Well golly gee, I guess they think I never clean anything off. If that makes me an unfit mother, then we really have issues with our justice system.

I do have copies of some reports that state children living with animals from a very young age are less likely to develop allergies to animals later in life. So I guess we will see if I can get the judge to look at that.

As for a lawyer..... wish I could afford one. As for getting one from legal aid, they told me they had more pressing matters or others with a greater need than I do for legal help. To tell you how bad this has gotten, over the last two years my ex has spent about $56,000.00 on his lawyer. YES I typed it out right. His parents put a new mortgage on a house they have had paid off for several years to pay his lawyer bill. At least I can say this... I went up against a lawyer who has been paid that much, (and will get a lot more before this is all over with) and the judge told me I was very intelligent, and one of the best pro se "Lawyers" he has ever had in his court.
I know this is silly, but it felt REALLY good when my objections were sustained!!!! Good thing I like law and order so much!

I'll keep doing my research and work on getting a video made. I only hope he will allow it in court.
Thanks again,
MD
 

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I just can't think any judge in their right mind would take children away from thier mother to give to a father in the navy who moves all the time. I don't even think the dogs should be an issue but if they are i think pets are good for children. Good luck mammadog but I don't think you should have to worry.
 

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MammaDog said:
I know this is silly, but it felt REALLY good when my objections were sustained!!!! Good thing I like law and order so much!
:D :D That is so great! I think I could solve a murder since i watch so much CSI...

On a more serious note, I really, really wish you the best and I agree with everybody is ridiculous to imply the animals your kids grew up with are dangerous or harmful to them. My very best wishes and good luck! :wave:
 

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Also try and find some information about how it benefits kids to have pets.
Like teaching them responsibility, compassion, and stuff like that.
How old are your kids?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My kids are 10yr, 5yr, 3yr in Jan, and 1yr old. The two my ex has me in court over are my middle two children. My son at age 5 and daughter who will be 3 in Jan.
On a side note, when I was married to my husband we did have a dog. She was some kind of small mix about 30 pounds. She became aggressive toward my son who was only about 2.5 to 3 years old. She had tried to bite him on more than one occasion. I finally had to go behind his back to have the dog put down because he would not let me. I lied and told my kids she got really sick, etc.

Our two chis, they do NOTHING to these kids. If they are startled or anything by a loud noise or anything the kids do they simply jump up and move. Our German Shepherd has been laying down asleep when the baby had crawled up and done things like touch her head, belly, pull her tail, or lay down next to her. She doesn't even move. She has even stood there so the baby could pull himself up to stand holding on to her.

The cats... well they do what the want. Tommy sleeps with my oldest daughter or in my bed. Blackie you never can tell where she will be.
My oldest daughter is the only one who knows what is going on to a point... that I may have to find new homes for the animals.... she is tearful, upset, crys about it, hugs the animals and says it's not fair we have to get rid of them.
This is upsetting her, will upset my other two if they see the animals are gone, and tearing me up inside.

Ex-husbands can be such jerks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for letting me rant.
MD
 

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I am so sorry you are in this situation.

I agree with showing how pets promote compassion responsibility etc in children and show your children playing with them. Ir your daughter too young to testify about how she feels about the animals? Don't want to traumatize her anymore though..

Also, find sources that explain that the breed characteristics for behavior are an overall. They do not say the characteristics for EVERY dog. Many dogs are exceptions. If you have to you could bring your animals all to behaviorists and have them tested for being with children etc. Then you will have paperwork from a liscensed animal behaviorist showing all youir animals despite breed are good with children and tempermentally sound.

You might even bring up about the dog you had euthanized for being a danger to your children to show you are payign attention to your children's safety with the animals and would be willing to get rid of animals that pose a threat to your children.
 

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Husband's parents

Looks like the husband's parents are mortgaging their home in the hopes of getting their hands on the kids. (He's in the Navy, they need a stable home, where better than with the grandparents?) See where this is going?

It looks like he's trying to stack the financial deck against you. I love furbabies but my daughter would come first. If you have to find them a good home, it's better that way than losing your daughter.
 

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You can probably find plenty of doctors asserting that children who grow up with pets are less likely to be allergic, but your ex could easily counter with just as many saying that it has no impact.

Because it pretty much has no impact. I grew up with cats and, later, a dog, and my allergies and asthma only seemed to get worse as I aged.

You can become more "tolerant" if you are in a house with pets. But you can also suddenly "develop" an allergy to a pet you've had for years.

Knowledge about allergies, and asthma, is incomplete. They're not sure what causes them, what makes 'em stay, what makes 'em get worse, or what makes 'em go away. They just know they DO all of those things.

If your ex smokes, however, any finger pointing about animals is moot. Smoking is WAY worse for kids than pets. But here's a tip: If you keep your house dusted, vacuumed, mold-free, etc. etc., use air filters, high-thread-count sheets (or allergy barrier pillow cases/mattress covers) that kind of stuff, your children COULD be allergic to pet dander and NOT have a reaction. Allergies have a "threshold", and people are typically allergic to many different things. They can walk though a dusty room, but make it a dusty room WITH pet dander and there comes the allergy attack.

I think some of the suggestions here: such as video taping the kids at play, researching the dogs, and a lawyer, are good ideas. Get a behaviorist to analyze the dogs, and get the kids allergy tests. If they're not allergic, there goes that argument.

Aren't the children's opinions typically solicited? You mentioned that this dispute is over the middle two, so I guess those two wouldn't be old enough to be asked.

However, why the heck would they want to split up the children? That's ridiculous. And SINCE WHEN did it become DETRIMENTAL for kids to have pets??

I hope that you're worrying over something that will barely be an issue. Because the other alternative is somewhat frightening to me.
 
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