Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bill seeks to save pets during domestic violence cases

The story I've linked to here is about California Senator Sheila Kuehl, and her quest to get a bill (SB 353, to be exact) passed that would protect pets during domestic violence incidents. I not only want to applaud her efforts and keep my fingers crossed the bill becomes law, I also want Florida lawmakers to follow suit.

Through the years, plenty of pets have been injured, tortured and/or killed as a way for the abuser to further control his victim. Sen. Kuehl's bill would allow judges to include any kind of animal in protective orders for as long as deemed necessary, which would mean abusers would have to stay away from the pet or pets involved and not be allowed to harm the pet. Violating the order would be a misdemeanor.

New York, Vermont and Maine passed similar laws last year. I hope Florida will be next. As a matter of fact, I'm off to write my lawmakers a letter about it. Won't you write one to yours?

1 comment:

Gretchen P. said...

As a follow-up to your comment, I was one of a 5-person team of graduate-level students at University of San Diego who introduced and helped push this legislative action through as a class research project. The course is Nonprofit Advocacy, and the point is that laws begin with ordinary citizens. Yes, write to your legislators, but to help make it easy for them (a key factor in effecting change!), include the language from our bill, which can be found by typing bill # SB353 into http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html. There is a lot of information on this website about it, including national statistical info on pet/domestic abuse. You can do it! Legislators love this one because it protects people and animals, and if you do it our way, has no fiscal impact!