- Associated Press - Thursday, December 11, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A proposal would allow cats, dogs and other family pets to be included within the scope of protection orders obtained by victims of domestic violence or other offenses.

The bipartisan bill cleared the Ohio Legislature Wednesday. The governor is expected to sign it.

Under the measure, courts could issue orders that keep alleged offenders from threatening or interfering with the care of victims’ animals.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Skindell, has said the proposal ensures abusers don’t focus their rage on pets as victims seek protection. The Lakewood Democrat says it will help empower victims to seek safety from volatile environments without worrying about their pets’ well-being.

Animal rights organizations support the bill. A House amendment aims to help provide funding for the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.

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