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Capitol Briefs: Senate bill seeks to add pets to orders of protection

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A new bill to add pets to orders of protection was heard in the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee Monday afternoon.

Sen. Elaine Gannon’s SB 71 would allow protection orders for adults and children to shield pets from those threatening or committing abuse against them. The act would not include farm or commercial animals. 

“Pets are almost like your children,” Gannon said. “They understand what you’re saying and doing, they have a pattern for what’s going to happen at certain times of the day.” 

  • Gannon spoke of her bond with her English sheepdog and cited statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which found more than 70 percent of pet owners in domestic violence shelters said their pets had been threatened, injured, or killed by an abuser. 
  • Two witnesses testified in favor of Gannon’s bill Monday; Andy Briscoe spoke on behalf of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, calling it a “common sense, good government-type bill.” A representative for Stray Dog Policy also voiced his support. 
  • No one spoke against the bill in committee.