Domestic violence perpetrators often rain horrific acts of cruelty on their victims' innocent pets in an effort to control and frighten their victims. Now, Mississippi animal advocates have a chance to make a difference by supporting Senate Bill 2014, a bill which will protect pets of domestic abuse victims. SB2014 must be approved by the House Judiciary B committee by March 5th or it dies. If approved in committee, it must be voted on in the House by March 13th.
The law would protect any companion animal that is kept inside a residential dwelling and any dog or cat regardless of where it is kept. It does not include livestock or any wild animal. It would require the alleged abuser not remove, damage, hide, harm or dispose of any companion animal owned or possessed by a person protected by the domestic abuse order, and the law can
remove a companion animal from the possession of the alleged abuser.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (601) 359-3770 and ask to be directed to Judiciary B committee chairs Angela Cockerham, chairman and Willie Bailey, vice-chairman. Other members you can reach out to include: Jeramey Anderson; William Tracy Arnold; Nick Bain; David Baria; Shane Barnett; Joel Bomgar; Cedric Burnett; Deborah Butler Dixon; Kevin Ford; Karl Gibbs; Joey Hood; Kevin Horan; Jay Hughes; Timmy Ladner; Roun McNeal; Sam C. Mims, V; Donnie Scoggin; Fred Shanks; William Shirley; Jason White; Stacey Wilkes; Patricia H. Willis; Henry Zuber III.
You can find all legislators’ contact numbers and emails at https://openstates.org/ms/. Please forward this email and ask your friends to call their own representatives to seek their support for the bill.
In fiscal year 2015, Mississippi law enforcement officers responded to 10,411 domestic violence calls, an increase of more than 170 calls over fiscal year 2014. Nearly 4,000 protection orders were issued in the state in fiscal year 2015, according to the Mississippi Department of Health.
Stories of tragic abuse abound, like the man who told his partner that if she didn’t make it back to their home within the next 10 minutes, he was putting her beloved cat in the microwave. He knew she was at least 30 minutes away from the house. Puppies and kittens have been kicked in fits of rage, and food and water withheld from pets.
Asking victims of domestic abuse to leave their pets is like asking them to abandon their child, advocates say. Abusers hurt pets to control their victims, which is why this statute needs to pass.
Please thank the compassionate sponsors of this bill and Mississippi’s elected officials who have
been champions for animal welfare: Republicans Kevin Blackwell, ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
representing District 19, including parts of DeSoto and Marshall counties in northern Mississippi; Angela Hill, (email@example.com) representing District 40 - Marion, Pearl River; Bob Dearing,(firstname.lastname@example.org) representing District 37 - Adams, Amite, Franklin and Pike; Sen. Robert Jackson, (email@example.com) representing District 11 - Coahoma, Panola, Quitman, Tunica; Sampson Jackson II (firstname.lastname@example.org) representing District 32 - Kemper, Lauderdale, Noxubee, Winston; and, David Jordan, (email@example.com) representing District 24 - Grenada, Holmes, Humphreys, Leflore and Tallahatchie.
Thank you for taking a stand!