February 20, 2007
California may be joining at least three other states in allowing courts to extend domestic protection orders to pets. Under the proposed legislation, a judge could simultaneously grant custody of an animal to a petitioner and order a respondent to stay away from the animal. Research shows a correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. Many battered women report threats or even actual injuries and/or death to their pets. One goal of the legislation is to prevent spouses or partners from staying in a relationship simply to protect their animals.
For more information on this legislation, see http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0351-0400/sb_353_bill_20070220_introduced.html