Bills would protect pets of domestic violence victims

Senate Bill 1082 and House Bill 241 are moving through Florida’s House and Senate with bipartisan support. 

The measure would allow judges in domestic violence cases to grant an order of protection, not only for the victim of domestic violence but also for family pets as well.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is backing the bill as well. 

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey says, “Anyone who will hurt a pet will hurt a human.”

Sheriff Ivey says law enforcement officials encounter an all too familiar problem when dealing with domestic violence cases.

"Well, you see so many cases where the victim is scared to leave because threats have been made against the pet or they say I’m taking my dog or my can and the offender says no you are not. they are staying here and again it becomes a pawn," Ivey says.

This new measure, if passed, would allow victims to take temporary custody of “family animals.”

The pets could, in some cases, be handed over to a local animal shelter where they could be fostered until a final legal determination is made.