Target: Virginia Senate
Goal: Commend state legislature for passing pet protection bill
A bill to protect domestic violence victims and their pets passed in the Virginia state senate recently, after five years of heated debate. The bill prevents domestic violence victims from endangering themselves for their pets’ sake. It will allow people who file domestic violence charges against a partner to obtain custody of their pets. It also prohibits further violence directed toward the animal.
Animal abusers are five times as likely to abuse people as well. Nearly half of domestic violence victims stay in their abusive situations out of fear of what will happen to their pet without them there to protect it. Some people who do get out of an abusive situation go back for their animal, endangering themselves again.
Delegate Ben Cline, who introduced the bill, said, “I am pleased that [this bill] has passed the General Assembly and is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This important legislation will help provide victims with the security they need to successfully escape an abusive relationship.”
Laura Donahue, Virginia state director for the Humane Society of the United States said, “Research has repeatedly shown that people will imperil themselves if they fear for the safety of their beloved pets. Now, no one will have to make the heartbreaking choice to stay in an unsafe environment in order to protect their companions.”
Commend the Virginia state senate for passing this bill and urge Governor Terry McAuliffe to sign this much needed bill.