Our animals, whether companion or livestock, must be spared from the horrors of domestic violence just as the humans in the home need to be spared. Support, however, for the humans sometimes comes at the expense of the animals. Yet, many victims of domestic violence will refuse to leave their violent situation for fear their animals will be abused. As more state legislatures realize the issue of human domestic violence is entwined with the issue of animal domestic violence, more laws are being enacted to protect all inhabitants of a home.
Florida and Massachusetts have introduced legislation to help protect animals in domestic violence situations by granting custody and care of animals residing in such households to the victims of abuse. Approximately 20 states have laws already allowing courts to issue orders of protection to include animals.
If you live in Florida or Massachusetts , please contact your state legislators and let them know you are in support of legislation protecting animals in domestic violence situations. The Florida bill was just introduced, and the Massachusetts bill went into hearings early in October.
For residents of other states, check to see if your state has such legislation. If not, encourage your legislators to introduce bills that will protect animals in your state who find themselves in the midst of domestic violence situations.