Pets Get Some Political Power

May 13, 2011 by Tails Magazine in News with 0 Comments

With stories like finding a pit bull puppy with a cord around her neck floating down a river and courts ruing against dogs in Leona Helmsley trust case, legislators across the country are introducing new laws geared toward pets.

Just in the past week, the Oregon State Senate passed a law that would allow judges to include pets under domestic violence restraining orders and a Los Angeles councilman introduced legislation that could ban the sale of pets bred in puppy and kitten mills.

The Salem-News.com reported the current law in Oregon is not clear if judges can include an animal in a retraining order. Senate Bill 616 clarifies the state’s current Family Abuse Prevention Law to make it clear a judge knows they can include an animal.

Officials hope if the bill passes the House and becomes a law, it will help domestic violence victims, who are concerned about the welfare of their pets.

“This change may encourage some victims of domestic violence to seek help sooner,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland), a sponsor of the bill. “Cruelty to animals can be a serious part of the cycle of family violence. The fear that something could happen to a loved animal can be paralyzing and prevent a partner from leaving an abusive relationship.”

In California, a Los Angeles councilman is calling for a ban on pets who come from puppy and kitten mills.

Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a motion that asks city agencies to look into the logistics of banning sales of commercially bred cats, dogs and rabbits, as well as a study on the ban of all puppy, kitten, chicken and rabbit mills in Los Angeles.

Koretz, citing the large number of pets up for adoption, told the Los Angeles Times, “by being customers, we perpetuate the problem.”

“The ban of puppy mills is just a piece of the issue,” he said. “It’s probably of more symbolic importance than anything else.







Currently, Oregon’s statute on whether a judge can include an animal in a restraining order is ambiguous. SB 616 clarifies Oregon’s existing Family Abuse Prevention Law to ensure that all judges know that they are able to include animals in protective orders.

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