Contact: Rachel Heatley
Cell: (385) 202-5782
Contact: Kristina Pulsipher
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 17, 2022
Utah Legislature Passes H.B. 175, the Protection of Animals Amendments, Making It Possible for Domestic Violence Victims To Include Pets in Domestic Violence Protective Orders
On February 17, 2022, with a 69-2 vote in the House and a unanimous “yea” in the Senate, the Utah State Legislature passed H.B. 175, a bill that enables victims of domestic violence to include their pets in domestic violence protective orders. The Humane Society of Utah, Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering, and Utah State Representative Angela Romero, the bill’s sponsor, combined efforts to emphasize the importance of this legislation.
“We are thrilled the Utah Legislature understood the gravity of passing this bill, and what it means to pet families across our state,” said Kristina Pulsipher of Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering. “Survivors of domestic violence now have a path to leave their abuser, ensure their pets are protected, and take comfort in knowing there are now options in place to secure their safety. This statute will literally save lives.”
Nearly 50% of domestic violence victims have delayed leaving their abusers out of fear of harm to their pets. Abusers often use violence or threats of violence against a victim’s pet as a psychological tool to manipulate and further control the victim.
“With the passage of H.B. 175, Utah is now the 37th state to offer these life-changing and life-saving protections,” notes Rachel Heatley, Director of Advocacy and Investigations for the Humane Society of Utah. “Our state just took a giant step forward in protecting domestic violence survivors and their pets.”
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