Dog included in Mass. woman's restraining order
MARSHFIELD, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Massachusetts woman’s lab mix has become the first animal in the state to be included in a domestic violence restraining order.
It’s possible because of a new state law signed by the governor this summer.
Police say the alleged abuser had a history of violence, charged with domestic assault and battery in the past.
The alleged victim told 7News Wednesday she wants to share her story so other domestic violence victims know they can protect their pets, too.
Panzer, an 8-year-old lab mix, was kicked and dragged, police say, by its owner’s ex-boyfriend.
“We took the dog to a veterinarian prior to placing him in a foster home. He was fine physically. Emotionally, a little scared, a little traumatized,” said Deni Goldman, Animal Control officer.
In September, Marshfield police say they served an emergency restraining order on the alleged abuser.
Then this month, a Plymouth judge granted the 38-year-old Marshfield woman a restraining order that also covers her dog.
The alleged victim and dog owner says knowing her pet is safe with a foster family is a huge relief.
“He’s doing fabulous. He’s doing wonderful which is great peace of mind,” the dog’s owner said.
“She was worried about the safety of the dog,” said Goldman. “Seventy percent of battered individuals will not leave their homes without taking their pet with them. And if this is going to get people to get out of these horrible homes and into somewhere safe and we can do everything all at once, it’s going to make more and more people get out of these situations.”
With the case a test of the state's new animal welfare law, the town's police chief says it helps give domestic violence victims the courage to leave.
“This is a wonderful piece of legislation that I think is peace of mind to victims of domestic violence knowing that their animal can be safe, that they will be granted temporary custody of it and then they can leave the home with the animal,” said Chief Phillip Tavares, Marshfield Police Department.
The alleged victim is staying at a shelter out of state. She also has a 2-year-old son. Her dog is staying in a foster family outside of Marshfield.