The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) provides a resource for individuals seeking a safe haven from domestic violence with their pets. You can access the map by clicking on the following link: http://awionline.org/safe-havens?distance[postal_code]=32765&distance[search_distance]=20&distance[search_units]=mile.
There are currently 1,411 safe havens in the United States that have been identified.
In Florida, Fla. Stat 741.30
mandates that a judge consider intentional injury or killing of a family pet,
as well as destruction of "property", in determining whether the
petitioner is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic
violence. The Final Judgment of Injunction, Florida Family Law Form
12.980(d)(2), prohibits defacing or destroying Petitioner’s personal
property. It also prohibits the Respondent from approaching the
residence, school, place of employment, or vehicle of the petitioner. The
Final Judgment of Injunction form also allows the judge to write in any other
appropriate restrictions in my opinion. As a court of equity, the
petitioner can request a restriction that the respondent not approach
her/his property, including a pet.
Some difficulties may exist such as whether there would be a violation of the injunction if the pet were to approach the respondent.
This area of the law continues to evolve. Write to your local government representatives and ask them to support domestic violence legislation that protects pets.
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