Your Pet Could Soon Have Domestic Violence Protection

This just in from the Associated Press wire: Pets could soon be protected under domestic violence laws.

The idea behind the measure is to close a loophole in divvying up property in domestic violence disputes, argues its author.

Here’s the story:

By BRIAN SLODYSKO

Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash.

A bill passed Monday by the state House would extend the protections of domestic violence restraining orders to pets owned by the person who secures the order.

The bill, which passed 96-1, now goes to the Senate. Courts could decide custody of jointly owned pets if a domestic violence protection order is taken out.

The measure would also bar the target of the restraining order from having contact with the pets.

Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia, the bill’s sponsor, said the measure merely closes a loophole. The property of those who take out such protection orders is already protected; extending that protection to animals only makes sense, he said.

Williams said he was deeply moved by a story he heard from a domestic violence victim. Not only did her “ex-husband set fire to her house, but first did so by building a ring of fire around the couple’s two dogs,” he said during House debate.

Also passed Monday by the House:

A bill that would allow prosecutors to divert prosecution of child prostitutes in favor of alternatives that include rehabilitation programs, job training and chemical dependency services.

A measure allowing beer and wine specialty shops to sell malt liquor in keg-sized quantities.
Both measures now move on to the Senate for consideration.

The domestic violence pet bill is House Bill 1148. The child prostitution bill is House Bill 1505. The
malt liquor sales bill is House Bill 1462.

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