COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A bipartisan Ohio bill would allow cats, dogs and other family pets to be included within the scope of protection orders obtained by victims of domestic violence or other offenses.
State senators unanimously passed the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House.
Under the measure, courts could issue orders that keep alleged offenders from threatening or interfering with the care of victims' animals. Judges could order the removal of pets from alleged abusers and bar them from having any contact with the animals.
Judges already can include animals in protection orders, though the bill would put the authority into law.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Mike Skindell, says it ensures abusers don't focus their rage on beloved pets as victims seek protection.
The measure has support from some animal rights organizations.
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