Many people consider pets part of the family. When family members are subjected to domestic violence, the pets they love are sometimes used against them by the abuser. A bill has been introduced in Ohio that would protect pets in protection orders.
The bipartisan bill is being backed by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. HB 243 would enable the court to include companion animals in orders of protection if the animal lives in the same home as the alleged victim, petitioner, complainant or the person who needs to be protected.
The bill takes care of a serious issue that was noted during a 2010 survey done by OVDN. During that survey, it was discovered that there is a connection between the safety of companion animals and domestic violence victims. The survey found that domestic violence agencies reported incidents of pets being killed, including some pets that were killed in front of children. In some cases, the pets are abandoned when the victim flees from the residence.
Besides offering protection for the pets, it also seeks to implement sanctions any offender who commits animal cruelty. If this bill becomes law, families with pets will be able to keep those pets safe as part of protective orders put in place due to alleged domestic violence.
Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure at home. If you are a victim of domestic violence, seeking help from someone with knowledge in family law might help you to learn about ways you can keep yourself safe after you get out of the situation.
Source: Daily Legal News, "Domestic violence association backs bill to include pets in protection orders" Tiffany L. Parks, Mar. 21, 2014