State Summary Report

 Protecting Animals in Households Affected by Domestic Violence

Last updated March 2018

Over several decades, many 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.

Today, 27 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws allowing for pet protection orders. The list of states includes Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Source: Staff research, AVMA State Advocacy Division
Contact: State Policy Analyst, AVMA State Advocacy Division, 847-285-6758.