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Oregon Senate Passes Bill to Protect Human and Animal Survivors of Domestic Violence

SALEM, Ore. — The Humane Society of the United States today praised the Oregon state Senate for passing SB 616, a bill to add companion animals to the Family Abuse Prevention Act thereby giving Oregon courts the ability to provide for the safety of pets and service animals in domestic violence restraining orders. The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum, D-Portland, Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, and Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha, and was approved 28-2. The lone “no” votes were cast by Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, and Sen. Jeff Nelson, R-Pendleton.

The critical link between domestic violence and cruelty to animals has been well established.  Studies show that many victims of domestic violence stay in abusive relationships out of fear for their animals’ safety. Violent abusers often target their victim’s animals as a means of maintaining control over their victim. Some Oregon judges have refused to provide for the welfare of survivors’ animals because they believed they lacked the statutory authority to do so. This addition to FAPA will clarify the law and thereby help protect Oregon families and pets. Several other states have passed similar legislation, with overwhelming support from law enforcement, prosecutors, domestic violence victim advocates, and the humane community.

“The Humane Society of the United States thanks the Oregon Senate for voting to protect all survivors of domestic violence, both human and animal, by passing this important bill,” said Scott  Beckstead, The HSUS' Oregon senior state director. "The HSUS is especially grateful to Majority Leader Rosenbaum and Senator Prozanski, as well as Senator Jackie Dingfelder, for their leadership in gathering support for this bill.”

Research has shown a link between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. For more information about the connection between human violence and animal abuse, click here.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.  

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