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Michigan Gov. Signs Bill to Protect Pets of Domestic Violence Victims

The ASPCA applauds Michigan lawmakers for taking an important step forward in the fight against domestic abuse with the passage of critical legislation giving judges the authority to include pets in protective orders issued to victims of domestic violence. The bill was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on May 19.

Research shows that nearly one out of four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and, sadly, the decision to save their own lives becomes much more difficult when pets are involved. All too often, loving owners can delay seeking help or remain in dangerous situations for fear of what will happen to the pets they leave behind.

“The inability to flee an abusive relationship places domestic violence victims, their children and pets at a much greater risk of emotional and physical trauma, and even death,” says Vicki Deisner, Midwest Legislative Director for the ASPCA. “This new law will help keep people and their pets together and encourage victims to seek help.”

The law takes effect immediately, making Michigan the thirtieth state to authorize judges to include pets in orders of protection for victims of domestic violence.

We thank Governor Snyder and Rep. Robert Kosowski, the bill’s sponsor, for their work passing this meaningful legislation to better protect Michigan’s families and pets. If you’re a Michigan resident, please join us in thanking the Governor and Rep. Kosowski for their efforts.

Not in Michigan, but still want to help? We need your voice to pass the U.S. Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which will expand federal domestic violence protections and help victims of domestic violence and their pets escape abusive environments and seek the safety they need. Visit the APSCA Advocacy Center to take action today.

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