Updated April 2014
Over several decades, a number of researchers have studied and analyzed the co-occurrence of animal abuse and domestic violence. In the wake of these studies, state legislatures have introduced and adopted bills which extend domestic violence orders of protection to provide for the protection of companion animals belonging to the petitioner or a child residing in the home.
In 2006, Maine became the first state to pass a law allowing courts to include animals in domestic violence orders of protection. New York and Vermont followed suit the same year.
Since 2006, many more states have adopted laws allowing for pet protection orders. Those states include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
Source: Staff Research, AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department
Contact: Tara Southwell, State Policy Analyst, AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department, 847-285-6779.