Here’s how the Gov. Walker’s official press release described it:
Senate Bill 97 – provides that when a judge or circuit court commissioner issues a temporary restraining order or injunction for domestic abuse, child abuse, individual-at-risk, or harassment the judge or circuit court commissioner may order the respondent not to remove, hide, damage, harm, mistreat, or dispose of a household pet. Authored by Senator Tim Carpenter ( D – Milwaukee ) and Representative André Jacque (R – De Pere), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 253.
Our appreciation goes to the Governor, Sen. Tim Carpenter ( D -Milwaukee) and Rep. Andre Jacque (R- De Pere) and their legislative colleagues who made this a reality.
“This new law allows victims in Wisconsin to seek the protection of the courts from an abuser’s threats, intimidations and harmful actions towards a family pet. Domestic violence victims and their families, like any family, often have an important bond with their pets. Pets provide comfort, unconditional love and help victims feel less isolated. Pets are also a crucial part of a victim’s healing. No domestic abuse victim should ever have to choose between their safety and the safety of their pet.”
Shannon Barry, Executive Director for Domestic Abuse Intervention Services
“This law removes one more barrier that often prevents women and their children from leaving domestic violence situations. Victims/survivors will no longer have to leave their dogs behind because they are considered property, as was the case in my situation.” Robbyn Bowman, advocate
“I’m so proud of the hard-work that everyone put into making Wisconsin the 29th state to include pets in domestic abuse restraining orders. This legislation is truly life-saving for victims and their beloved pets.” Megan A. Senatori, cofounder and president of SAAV (Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims)
“There’s no longer any denying that domestic abuse affects all members of a household, human and animal alike. It’s wonderful that our state legislature has taken this issue seriously.”
Melissa Tedrowe, Wisconsin State Director, HSUS
“Almost a year after the first public hearing, the Pet Protection Order was signed into law. I am happy to say that seeing that signed document made it all worth it…I'm incredibly grateful to everyone that worked tirelessly to get this passed and to the legislators who came together across party lines to make Wisconsin safer for all families and their pets." Crystal Hester, former NASW intern
“Of particularly good news is that this law affects not only domestic violence survivors but also child abuse, harassment, and individual-at-risk situations. Wisconsin may be unique among the 29 states (plus the District of Columbia , Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) to include these diverse victims in Pet Protection Order laws. Way to go, Wisconsin !” Phil Arkow, Coordinator, National Link Coalition.
Yes! Way to go, Wisconsin!
Denice Ryan Martin, a volunteer with Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals, is a freelance writer, licensed social worker and animal welfare advocate. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .