While all individuals charged with a crime in Houston, Texas are innocent until proven guilty, depending on the crime one faces, it is possible that the accused could face ramifications before a trial date is even set. One situation in which this could occur is when someone is charged with domestic violence.

In these types of situations it is not uncommon for the alleged victim to seek a protective order that is designed to keep the accused from being around that individual for a set amount of time. While this alone can greatly impact the life of an accused, particularly when one’s children leave with the alleged victim, under a new law in the state of Texas, an accused could also lose the family pet. Called Pets in Protective Orders, the new law allows judges in the state of Texas to include pets in protective orders.

The reasoning behind the new law is that the threat of abuse to family pets is one reason that someone who is in an abusive situation may decide to stay.

The law may be particularly upsetting to individuals accused of domestic violence because any pet included in such a protective order, will not remain with the alleged victim who secured the order, but will be sent to a foster home or pet shelter to be cared for by strangers. Though advocates of the law would ultimately like to have a place for animals at the domestic abuse shelter, at this point there is nothing to indicate that will happen any time soon.

Individuals facing allegations of domestic violence have a lot to lose. Accordingly, it is a good idea to work with someone who has handled these types of cases to secure the best possible outcome.

Source: KFOX 14, “Pets get protection in domestic abuse orders,” Melissa Gundersen, Jan. 2, 2013