Beall bill would protect pets

Pets could be included in no-contact orders issued by Iowa judges in domestic abuse cases under a measure written by state Sen. Daryl Beall.

The proposal from the Fort Dodge Democrat easily passed in both houses of the Legislature and now awaits action by Gov. Terry Branstad.

Most no-contact orders tell an accused abuser not to contact the victim identified in a criminal case. The judge issuing the order may also direct the accused abuser to stay away from the victim’s family.

“My bill allows a judge to include a pet in a do not contact restraining order,” Beall said. “Pets are sometimes the reason why a person remains in an abusive domestic relationship out of fear for the safety of a pet. Pets are also used by a perpetrator to punish the victim of domestic abuse.”

Beall said there is evidence that a person who abuses an animal is also capable of hurting people.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously, and the House of Representatives passed it on an 87-10 vote Wednesday.

Beall said he’s been trying to get the bill passed for four years.