March 1, 2014
Virginia Senate Passes Pet Protection Bill
A bill to prevent domestic violence survivors from further endangering themselves and their children for the sake of their pets, passed the Virginia Senate on Thursday after five years of ongoing debate.
HB 972, introduced by Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, will allow people who file domestic violence charges against a partner to obtain custody of their family pets and prohibits further violence directed toward the pet. The bill now goes to Gov. Terry McAuliffe to sign.
Del. Cline and Laura Donahue, Virginia state director for The HSUS issued the following statements:
“I am pleased that HB 972 has passed the General Assembly and is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This important legislation will help provide victims with the security they need to successfully escape an abusive relationship,” said Del. Cline.
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Delegate Cline for his leadership on this life-saving bill that protects survivors of domestic violence and their pets. Research has repeatedly shown that people will imperil themselves if they fear for the safety of their beloved pets. Now, no one will have to make the heartbreaking choice to stay in an unsafe environment in order to protect their companions,” said Donahue.