Pets in the state of Washington stand to gain protection from perpetrators of domestic violence under a bill approved Feb. 23 by the state House.
House Bill 1148, sponsored by Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia, would allow a court, when issuing a domestic violence protection order, to give the petitioner sole custody and control of a pet. In addition, the bill states, the person subject to the restraining order may be kept from being around the pet.
By granting protective orders for animals, the bill intends to no longer allow victims of domestic violence to be manipulated by the use of threats toward family pets. Research has shown a link between animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence.
The legislation now moves to the Senate. The bill goes into effect within 90 days of approval.