Paradise Lost was filmed in California.
But the movie was filmed there because dogs were deemed “babies” at the time, which meant they could be kept as pets for as long as they liked, according to an article in The Huffington Post.
So when the dogs of Paradise Lost got into the habit of taking over babysitting duties, it meant they were being kept as family pets and thus ineligible for the same protections as people who work with pets.
That’s why you can’t keep a dog as a pet in Paradise Lost, the story goes.
(Though in the original script, the film’s narrator would say, “If it was a child, you’d have to kill it.”)
But, as the Los Angeles Times notes, the law didn’t specifically prohibit this.
“The statute [against pets] is based on the fact that the pet is an animal and therefore an eligible animal under the California Labor Code,” the Los Angelenos Weekly says.
“Dogs are considered farm animals, and therefore are subject to the same minimum wage laws as people.”
If you have a dog, you could still lose your job over it.
In some states, if you own a dog and it goes on strike, you can lose your entire job, the Los Angles Weekly says, though some states have laws that prevent employers from losing jobs over a dog’s behavior.
A few states have regulations that prevent a dog from becoming a full-time pet, which can mean losing your job.
For instance, in New York, a dog can’t be a full time employee if it has a permanent or contractual contract with a company.
“As a general rule, it is illegal for a person to keep a pet,” according to the State Law Department.
“In addition, a pet must be free of rabies and should be handled with the utmost care.”
And, in Utah, a person cannot have a pet that has been injured, killed, or destroyed.
But if you do have a puppy, the rule can be different.
“A pet is considered a child under the age of 18 years of age and can be considered a companion animal if the animal is a child and the animal was adopted from a shelter, or if the child is at least 6 years of old,” according the Utah State Department of Health.
(This is similar to the law in California.)
But in the case of a puppy that you adopted, you don’t have to worry about losing your entire employment, according the Los Angels Weekly.
“You don’t need to worry if you keep your puppy as a fulltime employee because you are still covered by the [child’s] protections,” it says.
If you don, you still have to keep your job, because the puppy must be vaccinated and licensed, the article notes.
The law may have been written specifically for dogs, but you can still lose a job over your dog.
If your dog is on a disability, the state of New York may have other rules, like requiring you to provide written reports of your dog’s medical conditions to the city.
“There is no statute specifically prohibiting a dog on a special disability as long it is an approved animal for a special purpose,” according a spokesperson for the state Department of Licensing and Regulation.
The Huffington News also notes that the Los Altos Hills, California, city passed a similar law in 2016.
“If you have had a dog for at least 10 years, you are considered a domesticated animal and can work with your pet as a family member,” the city’s Department of Animal Care and Control said.
So, if your dog has been on disability for a decade or more, you’re not eligible for the full-employment protections, and you’re still in a position of unemployment.
If it’s been over a year, however, you should consider your position.
The city’s law states that “a person who is employed by a governmental agency shall be deemed a domestication animal.”