Domestic violence protective orders in Rhode Island can now include pets

A Bernese Mountain Dog tries to get attention by giving perfect sad puppy eyes to the viewer. (Getty Images)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island’s governor has signed legislation to allow domestic violence protective orders to include pets.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the legislation introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Rep. William O’Brien, both North Providence Democrats.

Ruggerio said in a statement this week that there’s a strong correlation between domestic abuse and animal abuse and the new law, which takes effect immediately, ensures pets are protected.

It expands the Family Court’s jurisdiction to allow it to enter protective orders to provide for the safety and welfare of household pets in domestic abuse situations.

Many other states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, already have laws that include pets in domestic violence protection orders and he’s pleased the bill was passed this legislative session.

Lawmakers recessed for the summer last week.

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