, Gloucester, MA

November 30, 2012

Letter: Kudos for law protecting victims’ pets

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor,

It is great news that Massachusetts’ new law allowing animals to be included in domestic violence restraining orders has already been put to use by protecting a South Shore dog named Panzer.

Animals frequently become victims in homes plagued by violence. Many batterers try to control their victims, such as a partner or spouse, by threatening, torturing, and, or killing the victim’s animals.

Many victims of domestic violence are reluctant to leave the situation for fear of what will happen to their animals if they aren’t there to protect them.

Massachusetts’ law will undoubtedly save animal’s lives as well as human lives, because it allows people in abusive situations to ensure that their beloved animal companions will be protected if they leave.

Let’s hope many other states follow suit and pass similar laws.

To learn more about the link between domestic violence and cruelty to animals, visit

Martin Mersereau

Director, Emergency Response Team

Cruelty Investigations Department

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Norfolk, Va.