Bill Would Provide Court Protection For Family Pets

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – For many of us, the family pet is more than just a pet, it’s a real family member. So it’s no surprise that there’s a bill on Beacon Hill that would provide court protection for the family pet.

“Animals are so beloved, that sometimes an abuser can use the pet as a tool,” says Sen. Katherine Clark of Melrose. Sen. Clark has now sponsored a bill that would allow the family pet to be protected by restraining orders.

The MSPCA is on board. “A batterer uses various ways to control the victim, and animals become part of the means to abuse,” says Kara Holmquist of the MSPCA.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

Sue Webb of Wellesley knows all too well how the family pet can be used as a pawn in an abusive relationship. She was testifying on Beacon Hill today about how, years ago, when her husband was abusing her, part of his reign of terror was threatening her pets. “There was frequently a direct threat at my dogs and cats, sometimes he said he’d take them for a ride, and I’d never see them again.”

Sen. Clark says many abuse victims don’t leave the home, fearing for the safety of their pets.

More from Bill Shields
  • quadcomputers

    Looks Like WBZ is hard up for news…based on the idiotic topics this morning….

  • April

    This bill absolutely needs to be put into action and hopefully be made a law. It will not only help people in abusive relationships, but the animals who may be in danger as well. I am 100% for it.

  • Willow

    No one can understand such a law being needed unless they’ve lost or had a pet harmed at the hands of an abuser. I had my beloved dog shot and killed to get even with me. I’m 100% for this bill, but wonder how much good it would do since a restraining order hasn’t saved the lives of the people they are intended to protect. It’s worth a try, with stiff penalties for any violations.

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