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Florida Allows Domestic Violence Protective Orders to Include Pets

The legislation took effect July 1.

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New legislation in Florida means that pets can be included in domestic violence protective orders.

The bill was signed into law last month by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, People reports. It took effect July 1.

“With this new law, Florida joins more than 30 other states who have enacted meaningful public policies to safeguard both humans and pets from violence in the home,” the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal said in a statement.

ASPCA stated that 89 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters report that their abuser threatened, harmed or killed a family pet. Additionally, as many as 48 percent of domestic violence survivors with pets delay seeking safety, fearing what would happen if they left their pets behind.

“Under normal circumstances, adults, children, and pets living in an abusive home often face major obstacles to escape harm’s way. Unfortunately, the necessity of staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has made this situation substantially more dangerous for both people and pets,” said Jennifer Hobgood, senior director of state legislation for the ASPCA, Southeast Region.

“As our nation responds to this pandemic, reports of increasing rates of domestic violence have surfaced in many areas, including Florida. This lifesaving law now makes it clear that courts may include family pets in temporary restraining orders, and we thank Governor DeSantis for signing this bill to help domestic violence survivors and their pets reach safety.”

Read more at People

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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