A bill allowing the inclusion of animals in domestic violence, stalking and other protection orders is on its way to the governor.
Nearly half of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations for fear of leaving their pets behind with abusers, according to national studies.
”Too often, victims will not flee an abusive situation if they have to leave a pet behind, unprotected,” Vicki Deisner, Midwest legislative director for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said in a statement. ”No one should have to make the impossible choice between escaping an abusive situation and ensuring their pet’s safety.”
Senate Bill 177 would allow judges to order an alleged offender to ”not remove, damage, hide, harm, or dispose of any companion animal owned or possessed by the person to be protected” or authorize the victim to remove the animal.
The Ohio General Assembly this week approved a bill allowing pets to be included in juvenile, criminal and civil protective orders. LYNNE SLADKY | ASSOCIATED PRESS