Washington state lawmakers have approved legislation that would include pets as "personal effects" when a court issues a domestic violence protective order.
The new law would let victims take their pets when they remove personal items to leave abusive situations, and may keep a perpetrator of domestic violence away from the locations where the pet is regularly found.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, studies show that up to 71 percent of battered women report their pet was threatened, harmed, or killed by their partners, and a national survey found that 85 percent of women's say that women seeking safety described incidents of pet abuse in their families.
Washington HB 1148 states that the " legislature intends that perpetrators of domestic violence not be allowed to further terrorize and manipulate their victims, or the children of their victims, by using the threat of violence toward pets."
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Brendan Williams of Olympia.