In domestic abuse and divorce law situations, pets can often be a focal point of conflict and continued control of an abused partner. Though often overlooked, pets are important parts of people’s lives and when a relationship becomes toxic the couple’s pets often can become victims themselves.
However, thanks to a new law passed near the end of last year, Pets can now be included in an Abuse Prevention order, otherwise known as a 209A. This new law helps protect pets by providing that “The court may order the defendant to refrain from abusing, threatening, taking, interfering with, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming or otherwise disposing of such animal.” This can free up much stress and for a party in a domestic violence or divorce law situation.
The new law is not limited, however, to domestic partners, but anyone who can show proper need for a harassment prevention order known as a 258e. Though as in the case of a 209A, the order will still need to be proved and granted, it provides protection for your pets in common cases of threats by neighbors or others who you might have threatened you that you want to keep away. Indeed, a fear for people is retaliation against their pets since they are not afforded the same protections as humans, but this new law adds some serious teeth to protect your beloved pets and critters.
If you are in an abusive or harassment situation and your think you and your pets may need some protection, consult with an experienced abuse and divorce attorney.