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New Bill Protects Domestic Violence Victims' Pets

New Bill Protects Domestic Violence Victims' Pets

     A new Texas bill protects domestic violence victim’s pets, placing ‘protective orders’ on their animals, assuring their abuser cannot potentially abuse or kill them.

      Patt Nordyke, the director of TFACS or the Texas Federation of Animal Care Societies, says it’s a huge win giving victims piece of mind.

      “In domestic abuse situations there, frequently the abuser will use pets as a leverage to keep the humans in the situation,” she said. “This bill gives them the knowledge that their pets will be protected and give the confidence to seek help.”

      The bill took four legislative sessions before it was finally passed in 2011. Both Representative Jodie Laubenberg (R-Collin) and Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) helped to push the bill forward.

      “The bill originally passed in 2011, but the language in it was not widely accepted by the county or district attorneys,” Nordyke said. “After several changes to the bill in both the Senate and House, protection for pets will become law September 1.”

      What this bill does it that includes the pets in protective order so that the abuser cannot do anything to them, kill them or beat them, Nordyke said.

      “Generally if there is an abuser, the pet is the only solace the human gets from beatings and conversely the only solace the pet gets,” Nordyke said. “This bill was a long time coming.”

 

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