Earlier this year, Hawaii Senate Bill 1086, an initiative introduced by Sen. Clayton Hee that would have allowed judges to include companion animals in domestic violence protective orders, appeared to have died in committee. However, House Bill 1512 -- an identical initiative introduced by Rep. Jon R. Karamatsu -- passed both House and Senate conference committees and was signed into law on June 26, 2009.
Meanwhile, in North Carolina, SB 1062, an initiative sponsored by Sen. Julia Boseman and spearheaded by the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, was signed by Gov. Bev Perdue on Aug. 6, 2009.
Both the Hawaii and North Carolina laws allow judges to include in domestic violence protective orders any animal owned, possessed, leased, held or kept by a domestic abuse petitioner, respondent or the minor child residing with either party. Thirteen states plus Puerto Rico have now enacted this type of law.