Forensic Healthcare Online

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Inbox: Protection Orders for Pets

with one comment

In my inbox this morning (because interesting things show up there sometimes)

I know this isn’t technically education, but for those of you interested in public policy, here’s a little legislation to have with your coffee this morning:

Quad-City Times

Advocates: Pets Need Domestic-Violence Protection

Victims of domestic violence should be able to seek court protection for a family pet to keep an abuser from causing harm to an animal or using a pet to gain leverage, advocates said Wednesday. Tom Colvin, executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, said his agency deals with one or two situations each week where they provide a “safe house,” foster program or other protection for a family pet caught in an abusive domestic circumstance.

In some cases, a battered woman is forced to flee an abusive situation by moving to a shelter, but the facility doesn’t allow pets, he said. Oftentimes, they fear for the pet’s life but don’t have any other options. And the animal can become a point of leverage for an abuser either with a victim or her children. As a potential remedy, legislation is working through the Iowa House and Senate that would expand the scope of judicial restraint in domestic abuse cases to include specifically named pets. Domestic-violence victims could petition the court to require that an abuser stay away from the family’s animals, as well as the victim and the children, under the legislative proposals. A judge could issue temporary and permanent orders granting exclusive care, possession or control of a family pet. The court action also could order an abuser to stay away from the animal and forbid the abuser from “taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing” of the animal.

BTW, California has these protections in place. Anyone know of other states that have them or are working on them?


Written by Jenifer

February 20, 2009 at 7:39 am

One Response

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  1. […] a comment » As a  follow-up to last week’s post on legislation in Iowa for animal protective orders, a podcast about the link between DV and animal […]

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