While domestic violence is not a new issue, different organizations and members of society have brought to light the impact it can have on both the people and pets nearby. With the isolation brought on by COVID-19 lockdowns, the problems of domestic violence and animal cruelty were brought to the forefront.
In many domestic violence situations, people often deal with partners who not only abuse them, but who also enjoy hurting the things that are meaningful to them, such as their pets. A new bill in Utah may add an extra layer to the beloved pets of survivors of domestic violence. According to a Boulder domestic violence defense attorney, “Every year in the United States, more than 10 million men and women become victims of domestic violence.” Because of how common pet ownership is, this bill is important for many leaving an abusive situation.
The Protection of Animal Amendments bill for the 2022 Legislative Session allows people to add their pets to their protective orders upon leaving an abusive relationship. The House approved the bill by a 69-2 vote. According to Utah Rep., Angela Romero, “I know so many people who their pets are their world, you know. And so I want to make sure that I’m providing that security for a lot of these individuals trying to leave that situation.”
Hopefully, the rest of the states will follow Utah’s lead and introduce a similar bill as this is extremely beneficial for survivors of domestic violence and their pets everywhere. Learn more about how tense households and divorce can affect pets, specifically dogs, here.