PETITION TARGETS: Delaware Gov. John Carney, House Judiciary Committee
A family dog was lying in a pool of blood after being stabbed to death in a bedroom in Harrington, Delaware, when police arrived. In the home’s garage, officers also found the corpse of a woman who also had been stabbed to death, according to news reports.
A growing body of research shows that people who hurt animals also hurt people and also that domestic abusers will often injure, kill, or threaten beloved companion animals to control their human victims.
Now, a new package of bills in Delaware wants authorities to take those connections more seriously.
SB 70 would allow family courts to include animal abuse as a factor when granting protection orders in domestic violence situations and also would allow judges to award sole custody of the animals to the survivor. The new law also would allow judges to prohibit abusers from having contact with the animals.
SB71 would require law enforcement and family services to report suspected animal cruelty to the Office of Animal Welfare when investigating child welfare cases.
Meanwhile, HB 95 would allow family courts to treat companion animals differently than other “property” during divorce proceedings — including for judges to consider the well-being and attachments of the pet and each guardian’s ability and effort to care for the pet.
Two of the bills already have passed both the House and Senate, while SB 70 currently is under review in the House Judiciary Committee.
It’s important for elected officials to take seriously the link between domestic abuse and animal abuse — and to show that they do by quickly passing these laws!
Sign our petition urging Delaware’s governor and legislators to quickly pass these common sense bills and so stop the preventable suffering of both people and companion animals!