The Iowa Senate is looking at a bill to better protect pets in domestic abuse households. The bill would make it easier for victims of domestic abuse to include their pets in a protective order.
Originally there was concern that the bill will affect farmers; however supporters say commercial livestock’s not included under the bill, only companion pets.
While many animal rights groups are backing the bill, advocates say this is about people more than it is pets. According to the American Humane Association, roughly 70 percent of pet-owning women entering shelters reported their abuser had injured or threatened to abuse a family pet to control their victims.
Adrienne Smith has spent three years working with politicians pushing this bill forward.
“Let’s make this easier for a victim to leave a dangerous relationship. Let’s give them one little thing, one law that’s going to make it easier for them to leave,” Smith said.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously in favor of the bill last week. There is not yet a set date for when the full Senate will take up the bill.