MICHIGAN allows domestic violence protective orders to include pets. In addition, federal law includes the crime of stalking and actions that make the victim fear that the stalker will hurt the victim’s pet, service or emotional support animal, or horse (18 U.S.C. § 2261A (2019)).

As per the Animal Legal & Historical Center website1,

Summary: This Michigan law relates to an action for a personal protection order to restrain/enjoin several categories of individuals: (1) a spouse or former spouse; (2) a person with whom the petitioner has a child in common; (3) a person in a dating relationship with petitioner; or (4) an individual who resided or is residing in the same household as the petitioner. Effective August 1, 2016, the order may now restrain or enjoin those mentioned individuals from engaging in the following actions if that person has the intent to cause the petitioner mental distress or to exert control over the petitioner with respect to an animal in which the petitioner has an ownership interest: (1) injuring, killing, torturing, neglecting, or threatening to injure, kill, torture, or neglect the animal; (2) removing the animal from the petitioner’s possession; or (3) retaining or obtaining possession of the animal. Section 30 describes the criteria under which a petitioner is deemed to have an ownership interest in an animal. M. C. L. A. 600.295

 

ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

If your state does not include pet protection in restraining orders, there may be alternatives that assist your petition in the role animal abuse plays in domestic violence, such as:

  • specifying animal cruelty as a behavior to prove why a protective order is needed
  • detailing animal abuse or threats against the victim’s pet(s) as part of the abuse, intimidation tactics, or criminal stalking
  • giving consent to “cross-report”, ie. animal control sees signs of domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse

If you discover any of the above information has changed, is outdated, or is otherwise incorrect before we do, please drop us an email and let us know.  Thank you.


*Information in the "Policy" section does not constitute as legal advice. 
Please consult an attorney for any and all legal advice.
(1) Animal Legal & Historical Center, Map of State Laws Allowing Domestic Violence Orders to Include Pets,
https://www.animallaw.info/content/map-state-laws-allowing-domestic-violence-orders-include-pets
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