The New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill to include household pets in orders protecting victims of domestic violence.
The bill 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.
The bill passed Thursday on a voice vote without debate. It now goes to the House for review.
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.