- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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

A state Senate panel approved the proposal Tuesday. Under the measure, courts could issue orders that keep alleged offenders from threatening or interfering with the care of victims’ animals. Judges could also order the removal of pets from alleged abusers and bar them from having any contact with the animals.

Only those pets kept inside the home - not livestock or any wild animals - could be part of such orders.

Judges already can include animals in protection orders, though the bill would put the authority into law.

The measure has support from some animal rights organizations and domestic violence advocates.

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