Dog owners! Your dog is a recognized as a legal family member in New York State.

New York State and four other states have deemed that dogs are legal members of families. There are even some companies that give employees time off in case that your pet needs off in New York State? What if they need to go to the vet? There are insurance companies that will support you and offer insurance for your dog as well.

The dog IS part of the family, and if there is one thing that New York State does right, it is making sure that the dog is looked at as the legal part of the family.

According to the New York State law: “best interest of a companion animal must be considered when awarding possession in a divorce.” Companion animals may include dogs, cats, or any other domesticated animal living in or near the home and are cared for by the owners. An important caveat, however, is that this does not include any farm animals or livestock.

Dogs, cats, and other companion animals have historically been regarded by New York law as property, much like a bed or desk. This means that if a couple gets divorced, the court will recognize the pet as personal property that will be divided between the parties", according to

NEXT: If you have not signed up for a New York State STAR check make sure that you do so before the end of the year because you CANNOT get a check for 2023 if you try and sign up after December 31, 2023.

The average check statewide is $778 for the Basic STAR rebate and $1,407 for Enhanced STAR. The State has started sending out basic STAR and Enhanced STAR checks and if you HAVE NOT gotten one as of December, and are eligible, don't worry, you didn't miss out, even though the school taxes have been paid/due.

How do I get signed up to receive the STAR check from New York State?

You must sign up for the program otherwise, you will not get a check. You can do it online or by phone. You have to register BEFORE December 31, 2023 and, according to the State, they say a check will be cut within 30 days. Here is where to enter your information.

29 Photos Of Western New York's First Snowfall 2023

Depending on where you live, you may have had more snow (or less!) than others in Western New York. See the snow pictures submitted by residents all over WNY on Facebook.

Gallery Credit: Kadie Daye via Public Facebook Thread