Pets can be beloved household members, treated by some owners like they would treat children. Unfortunately, the presence of pets in a household can become a point of contention and control when the household devolves into domestic violence. According to one animal-welfare organization's recent article, nearly three-quarters of abuse victims owning pets say that the abuser had threatened, injured, or even killed their pet. Abusers may also manipulate the victim's love and concern for a pet to coerce the victim from leaving the relationship or reporting the abuse. If domestic violence exists in a household, chances are very high that the pet will also be at risk or will be at the dispute's center.
Legal Protections for Pets
Fortunately, legal protections are available for pets and their owners in domestic violence situations. The animal-welfare organization's recent article cited above includes a list of the thirty-six states that specifically authorize pet protections in domestic violence restraining orders. New Jersey and its nearby states, New York and Connecticut, are among those thirty-six states specifically authorizing pet protections in domestic restraining orders, while nearby Delaware is not among those states. If you need help with pet or other protections relating to a New Jersey restraining order, retain premier New Jersey restraining order attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm for aggressive and effective restraining order representation.
Why New Jersey Authorizes Pet Protections
Pet protections make good sense for at least two reasons. First, everyone, especially animal-rights organizations and pet owners, agree that pets deserve protection from abuse, neglect, and injury. Animal abuse and neglect are ugly and immoral. We should all do what we reasonably can to consider and protect the pet's interest. But beyond protecting the pet, restraining orders addressing pets can also prevent manipulation of the pet to cause greater harm to the protected person. Get pet protections in place, and a restraining order can do a better job of protecting the abuse victim. Addressing pet care, control, and management in the restraining order can even protect the restrained person from inadvertent violation of the order. Both parties should know how one, the other, or both will care for pets.
What to Do About Pets and Restraining Orders
The first and best thing you can do about pets and restraining orders is to tell your New Jersey restraining order attorney that you or your opposing party has a pet. Don't hide the presence of a pet in the household. Pet care requires access and attention. The presence of a pet can complicate a restraining order request and subsequent compliance with the order, especially if the parties do not disclose the pet's presence. For the parties to avoid disputes and ensure reasonable opportunity to comply, the restraining order should provide for the pet's protection, access, control, and management. If you face a New Jersey restraining order involving pet protection issues or other disputes, retain premier New Jersey restraining order attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm for your aggressive and effective representation. Call 888-535-3686 or go online now.