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New Law Helps Protect Family Pets


As our nation responds to the COVID- 19 pandemic, reports of increasing rates of domestic violence have surfaced across the country, including Florida. Thankfully, a new lifesaving law (SB 1082), signed by Governor DeSantis, went into affect on July 1, 2020.


Humane Society. Florida now joins 30 other states


who have enacted similar policies that safeguard humans and pets from violence in the home. The Florida law allows judges to name pets in domestic vio- lence protective orders much in the same way that children and other family members can be named into restraining orders. “Too often, those living in an abu-


sive situation do not seek safety out of fear for what may happen to their pets,” said Carotenuto. Seventy-one percent of domestic


“This law now makes it clear that


courts may include family pets in tem- porary restraining orders, and we thank Governor DeSantis for signing this bill to help domestic violence survivors and their pets reach safety,” said Jennifer Hobgood, senior director of state legisla- tion for the ASPCA, Southeast Region. Staff and volunteers at Flagler


Humane Society in Palm Coast worked with the ASPCA and The Humane Society of The United States to promote the importance of this legislation in Florida. “We would like to thank Governor


DeSantis as well as Senator Albritton, Representative Killebrew and Representative David Silvers for their sponsorship,” wrote Amy Carotenuto in a letter to the editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal. “Special thanks to our own local Representative Paul Renner, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, who helped ensure the bill passed,” added Carotenuto, who is the executive director for the Flagler


abuse survivors reported that their part- ner had implicitly or explicitly threat- ened the pet as a way to maintain power. More than 50 percent of pet- owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their abusers threatened, harmed or had killed a family pet. Children who are exposed to


domestic violence are nearly three times more likely to treat animals with cruelty than children who are not exposed to such violence (Source: Currie, 2006). Animal cruelty committed by children is often symptomatic of future abuse toward other animals or people. Only 10 percent of domestic vio-


lence shelters in the country allow animals and have pet-friendly on-site facilities for families with pets. This leaves pet owners with the difficult decision to leave their pet at home or stay in an abusive household to be with their pet.


For a list of domestic violence shelters in Florida that are pet friendly, go to SafePlaceForPets.org


www.TheNewBarker.com


THE NEW BARKER 15


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