West Virginia and Oklahoma Enact Pet Protection Orders

Escrito por AHA. Publicado en News in English.

West Virginia and Oklahoma have become the 16th and 17th American political entities to enact provisions allowing judges to include pets in domestic violence protection orders.

In March, the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 490, permitting courts to award petitioners the exclusive care, control or possession of any animal owned or kept by the petitioner, the respondent or a minor child in the home. The law also prohibits the respondent from taking, concealing, molesting, injuring, killing or disposing of the animal, and allows the courts to limit or preclude contact by the respondent with the animal.

On April 16, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry signed House Bill 2827 into law. Like many other states with pet protection orders, the new Oklahoma law permits courts to issue orders keeping the defendant away from animals belonging to the defendant, petitioner or a minor child in either household. The Oklahoma law, however, also extends this protection to petitioners in stalking and harassment incidents, as well as domestic violence. It also instructs courts to consider whether the alleged violent incident involved the abuse of pets in addition to such other conditions as the severity of the alleged violence and the respondent’s history of domestic violence or other violent acts, substance abuse, violating court orders, and suicidal or homicidal ideas.

Blue=PPO laws enacted
Green=PPO bills introduced

West Virginia and Oklahoma join California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington in enacting pet protection order laws.