SOUTH CAROLINA 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: South Carolina now allows a judge to issue a protective order that prohibits the harm or harassment against any pet animal owned, possessed, kept, or held by the petitioner; any family or household member designated in the order; or the respondent if the petitioner has a demonstrated interest in the pet animal.The law also allows the judge to issue a protective order that provides for temporary possession of the personal property, including pet animals, of the parties and order assistance from law enforcement officers in removing personal property of the petitioner if the respondent’s eviction has not been ordered. Code 1976 § 20-4-60

 

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If you discover any of the above information has changed, is outdated, or is otherwise incorrect before we do, please drop us an email and let us know.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