New Hampshire lawmakers have passed legislation that includes household pets in orders designed to protect victims of domestic violence.
Wednesday's vote sent the bill to the governor. It expands the orders to include pets in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow judges to grant custody of any domestic pets or farm animals to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal.
Supporters argue abusers sometimes take their anger out on a pet or attempt to intimidate victims by targeting a pet.
Opponents argue the bill isn't needed because cruelty to animals already is a crime.