N.J. Assembly Committee Advances Bill to Extend Domestic Violence Laws to Pets
May 6, 2011
TRENTON ¬ Every day, family pets are targets in homes where there is domestic violance, animal advocates say. And the emotional trauma of their suffering extends to their owners, who often choose not to leave their batterer because they fear for their pet’s well being.
Seeking to remove what advocates call a tool of revenge, the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would extend laws that protect domestic violence victims to also include family pets.
The bill (A1633) would allow judges to add family pets to restraining orders designed to keep abusers away from their victims, assign legal custody of pets to victims, and allow them to remove animals from dangerous homes.
“We’ve heard so many stories of pets being abused or even killed as retaliation against a partner when a relationship goes sour,” said Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), a co-sponsor.