Nearly half of the US states have laws saving pets from abusive relationships in cases of domestic violence. The laws allow courts to order the protection of pets using the same statutes that protect the pet’s owner with restraining orders and similar.
That means that if a dog’s owner is the victim of domestic violence and gets an order of protection against the abuser, the pet is safeguarded under the same order.
Many pets get stuck in the middle of abusive relationships where the abuser use their victims’ dogs and cats as pawns – often killing them in the process. 70 percent of victims of domestic violence report that their abusive partner has threatened to hurt or kill a pet.
Some women’s shelters in the USA allow women to bring pets when fleeing an abusive situation, but many cannot offer this service, and nearly 50 percent of women in an abusive relationship stay to protect their pet.
Without these laws, the abuser can keep the pet or try to take it. The abuser can also try to get visitation rights. With the law, pets can be placed in safe foster homes until their owner gets settled.