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2/15/2019 Senate President Ruggerio and Rep. O’Brien introduce bill that includes pets in domestic protective orders
STATE HOUSE – President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) and Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) have introduced legislation (2019-S 0225 / 2019-H 5023) that would expand Family Court jurisdiction to enter protective orders to provide for the safety and welfare of household pets in domestic abuse situations.

“There is a strong correlation between domestic abuse and animal abuse,” said President Ruggerio. “If someone is violent towards humans they are likely to be violent towards animals. This legislation will ensure pets are protected under the law from domestic abusers, just as humans are.”

“Often in cases of domestic violence, pets can be severely harmed by the abuser as well. Many states in the country already have laws that include pets in domestic violence protection orders. An innocent animal should not be allowed to be left with dangerous and violent abusers,” said Representative O’Brien.

President Ruggerio and Representative O’Brien have both previously sponsored animal protection legislation. Last year, President Ruggerio sponsored a bill that was signed into law that requires educational institutions using dogs or cats for medical research to make animals no longer useful for research available for adoption. Representative O’Brien sponsored a law that requires anyone entrusted with the care and control of an animal, such as a veterinarian or an animal shelter worker, to report any discovered instance of animal cruelty to the proper authorities.

Representative O’Brien’s legislation was heard by the House Judiciary Committee this week.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903