- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) has signed a bill allowing cats, dogs and other pets to be included within the scope of protection orders obtained by victims of domestic violence or other offenses.

Under the bipartisan-backed bill signed Friday, 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 supported the measure.

Before passage, the House added an amendment that aims to help provide funding for the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.

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