Senate Bill Would Protect Pets in Domestic Violence Situations

Often forgotten in domestic violence situations are the victims’ animals, but new legislation introduced by Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49) seeks to provide protections to those animals.

“Data from the Humane Society of the United States reveals a staggering number of animals are targeted by those who abuse their children or spouses, with one survey illustrating that 71% of domestic violence victims reported their abuser also targeted pets,” said Laughlin. “We need to do what we can to prevent abusers from using the threat of harm or actual harm of an animal to control or psychologically torment the animal’s guardian.”

Protection orders are court orders protecting domestic violence victims from their abusers. Unfortunately, a judge has no explicit authority to order that the defendant not kill or maim a victim’s pets.

“My legislation, Senate Bill 1105, will prevent offenders from using animals as tools in their abuse, exploiting the close bond victims have with their companion animals, making it difficult for victims to escape their abuser,” Laughlin said. “This important piece of legislation will allow judges to extend protection from abuse to the victim’s pets alleviating additional stress to the victim.”