State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) introduced the bill in late March. Support continues to grow, as more citizens, helping agencies and nonprofit groups find out about SB 97 and its companion bill AB 141.
Supporters include the National Association of Social Workers- Wisconsin chapter; End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV), WI Voters for Companion Animals, Wisconsin Humane Society, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and the National Link Coalition. That’s just to name a few.
Megan Senatori, Co-Founder/President of SAAV, has long championed the need for this legislation and plans to testify at the hearing.
“I know firsthand from almost 15 years of experience working with victims through SAAV, that victims can, and do, risk their own personal safety to protect the lives of their loved ones, and that includes the animal members of their family,” Senatori said. “I hope that the Wisconsin Legislature will embrace this legislation and give victims in our state the tools necessary to protect themselves, by providing a means to ensure the safety for their pets.”
Companion bill AB 141 was filed in the Wisconsin State Assembly by Rep. Andre Jacque(R-DePere). While serving on the WI Council on Domestic Violence and a leadership council for a Green Bay domestic violence shelter, he said he learned “how pets are among the many leverage points used by abusers to exercise control over their victims, luring them to return to a dangerous situation.”
Jacque, who received the End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin’s Legislative Champion Award in 2012, said he strongly believes this legislation will have a “positive impact” on the lives of domestic violence victims and their pets.
Do you know how your state legislator feels about this proposed bill? I encourage you to find out today!
Read more about Senate Bill 97 by clicking here.
Denice Ryan Martin, a volunteer with Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals, is a freelance writer, licensed social worker and animal welfare advocate. She first wrote about this topic in May 2013. http://www.wivotersforcompanionanimals.com/blog/leave-no-pet-behind-why-wisconsin-needs-a-law-to-protectpetsfrom-domestic-violence