While laws aiming to protect women and children from abusive spouses are standard in almost every state, however, pets are often left unprotected, even though they are often one of the first victims in the cycle of domestic abuse. Over 70% of battered women report that their pets were also abused or killed by violent spouses.
Many victims of abuse are also cowed into remaining with an abusive spouse or partner for fear of what harm may come to the animal should they leave the home.
A new law enacted in Connecticut, which goes into effect on October 1, 2007, aims to protect pets from violence in the home as a part of a domestic violence bill. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence advocated for the law.
The law allows the courts to issue orders of protection for pets kept by victims of abuse, from domestic violence to stalking. In a domestic violence situation, the court may go so far as to issue a restraining order for the animal against an abuser.
Photo by Matt Tanguay-Carel.