When it comes to domestic violence, most of us think of it mainly in the context of what is happening to the victimized spouse/partner and how to keep any children safe from the threats of violence. We don’t often consider the question: what about the pets? One long-overlooked aspect of domestic violence is how frequently family pets are used as leverage between the perpetrator and the victim. Indeed, pet safety is a huge issue in these matters, and many people wonder how (or if) the protections California law offers extend to our animals.
The question is haunting whether you’re the victim or the defendant. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, charged with a crime, and/or separated from your family through a protective order, you may wonder what will become of your dog or cat—particularly if that pet is technically yours. Let’s take a closer look at how California addresses the issue of what happens to family pets in domestic violence cases.
A Look at the Numbers