MINNESOTA 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 law reflects Minnesota’s provision for restraining orders in cases of domestic abuse. An amendment in 2010 concerns the care and keeping of a companion animal owed by either petitioner or respondent, and has a provision to allow the court to prevent harm to such animal. As stated in the law, “The order may direct the care, possession, or control of a pet or companion animal owned, possessed, or kept by the petitioner or respondent or a child of the petitioner or respondent. It may also  direct the respondent to refrain from physically abusing or injuring any pet or companion animal, without legal justification, known to be owned, possessed, kept, or held by either party or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either party as an indirect means of intentionally threatening the safety of such person.” M.S.A. § 518B.01

 

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If you discover any of the above information has changed, is outdated, or is otherwise incorrect before we do, please drop us an email and let us know.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