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Illinois Considers Legislation Protecting Companion Animals in Affordable Housing

Illinois Senate Bill 2973 would amend state law to prohibit the Illinois Housing Authority from restricting rentals of affordable housing to those with common companion animals, such as a dog or a cat, regardless of breed or size of the animal.

New Jersey Bill Establishes Mandatory Reporting for Animal Abuse

New Jersey Senate Bill 3168 proposes to require veterinarians, veterinary technicians, employees of the Department of Child and Families or Department of Human Services Division of Aging, management of residential care facilities, and law enforcement officers to make a report if they have reason to suspect animal cruelty or abuse. The bill would also establish immunity for anyone who makes a report of suspected animal abuse in good faith and amend the definition of domestic violence to include animal abuse.

Texas Bill Would Require Public be Informed about Protective Order Options

Texas House Bill 674 would require the Attorney General and State Bar of Texas to inform the public about the provisions that can be included in a protective order, such as prohibiting someone from removing a companion animal from the care of the protected.

Illinois Considers Funding to Ensure Domestic Violence Shelters are Companion Animal Friendly

Illinois House Bill 1907 would establish a grant program to enable domestic violence shelters in counties with a population of 200,000 or more to be equipped to provide shelter assistance to both survivors of intimate partner violence and their companion animals.

New York Considers Allowing Inclusion of Companion Animals in Orders of Protection

New York Senate Bill 3039 would allow a court to issue orders of protection for companion animals

New York Considers Requiring Domestic Violence Investigation of those Accused of Animal Abuse

New York Assembly Bill 3985 would require that the state of New York office of children and family services must investigate any individual who is accused of or investigated for animal cruelty.

Missouri Considers Allowing Protection Orders to Forbid Animal Abuse

Missouri Senate Bill 71 would allow protection orders to be issued in response to an immediate and present danger to a companion animal and to specify custody of the animal.

Washington State Supreme Court Declares Animal Cruelty to be a Crime of Domestic Violence

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington affirmed a trial court ruling that animal cruelty may be designated as a crime of domestic violence, even in the absence of specific statutory language. Indeed, the court ruled that “the domestic violence act does not create new crimes, it simply emphasizes the need to enforce existing criminal statutes in such a way that victims of domestic violence are protected.”

New Jersey Bill Would Classify Animal Abuse as an Act of Domestic Violence and Create Mandatory Reporting Requirements

New Jersey Senate Bill 1789, introduced in a previous legislative session as Senate Bill 3168, would include animal cruelty within the definition of domestic violence, mandate reporting of suspected animal cruelty by certain individuals (including veterinarians and employees of the Department of Children and Families), and establish immunity for good faith reporting of suspected animal cruelty.

Missouri Bill Would Allow Protective Orders Based on Abuse of a Pet

Missouri House Bill 2626 would authorize courts to issue a protective order based on the abuse of a pet, including an order of temporary custody of the pet(s) at issue.