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Domestic Violence Against Family Pets Bill Introduced in Florida

Dhicon_thumb By DogHeirs Team | January 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

Horatio's Law Domestic Abuse Against Family Pets
Horatio, a victim of domestic abuse


On the same day that Florida State Senator Mike Fasano intorduced the Animal Abuse Registry Bill, he also introduced a first-of-its-kind Domestic Violence Against Family Pets Bill that would allow a court to protect any animal against domestic abuse. This bill would come into effect July 1, 2012.

The bill, called "Horatio’s Law" (Senate Bill 288), redefines the term "domestic violence" to include inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury against an animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by one family or household member by another family or household member. It also includes placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm to a pet, which essentially widens the scope of the bill to include threats of violence against family pets.

More often than not in domestic violence, animals are used and abused as an addition means to hurt someone else and emotionally blackmail them. Pawns in a violent relationship, the pets have to endure their role.

Fasano stated, "History tells us the victim is the animal as well. Abusers go after the animal as well and the woman is afraid to leave the animal behind." The Senator says is hoping for success with the bill. The law, if passed, would also provide, in essence, restraining orders, for pets.


Horatio, a victiim of domestic abuse, and the inspiration for "Horatio's Law"

Horatio's Law Domestic Abuse Against Family PetsHoratio is an 8 year old Catahoula who was beaten so badly in the head that he has a permanent indentation and nerve damage. His vision was impacted such that he can no longer go into sunlight without wearing goggles.

Horatio sustained his injuries when he had laid over his elderly owner to protect her from a violent attack by her own son. Horatio nearly died protecting her.

Horatio now has a new owner and is the happiest dog ever. "Everyone loves him," says Kathy Cornwell. "He loves for people to pet him. He just loves people and other animals. He's a good boy." Horatio’s previous owner was happy her dog ended up in a happy home. She passed away in December.


Read Senator Fasano's SB 288: Domestic Violence Against Family Pets bill here:



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