Protective Orders May Now Include Companion Animals

By HSK, March 24, 2015

Protective orders issued in domestic and criminal cases are intended to ensure that persons are kept free from potential harassment and harm. But what about their pets? Senate Bill 177 which became effective on March 23, 2015 amended various statutes to make it clear that a court can now include a person’s pets within the scope of the protective order. Specifically, the order may include “companion animals.” Ohio law defines a “companion animal” as “any animal that is kept inside a residential dwelling and any dog or cat regardless of where it is kept.” It does not include livestock or any wild animal. These amendments now definitively remove any grey areas that may have existed under prior law.

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