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Protecting their pets

CINCINNATI (Paula Toti) -- A bill being considered in the Ohio legislature would have protection orders expanded to include pets.

The following story is about those who support the pending legislation.
Sherry Nolan has spent a lot of time piecing together clues left behind by her daughter Shannon Nolan-Broe after she was murdered by her husband John Broe.  The clues point to domestic abuse.  Broe killed her and their unborn child.
After Shannon was killed Sherry took the couple's two cats to the vet.  The vet she says asked, "Who is abusing the cats?"

X-rays showed signs of abuse.  Sherry then remembered long ago a family member mentioned something about Broe kicking a cat.
Senate Bill 177 would include pets in protection orders in cases of alleged domestic abuse.  The YWCA of Greater Cincinnati supports these bills and has provided testimony to the legislature.
YWCA Director Theresa Singleton says,  "It's so important to us".

She says the shelter currently has a woman whose husband is trying to get access to her animal and they are hoping that doesn't happen.
Dozens of states do have laws like this. It started in Maine where a woman who left her husband had the unthinkable happen. He killed her dog and sheep and attacked their turkeys. A pet protection order would not have allowed him on the property.
Doctor Barbara Boat directs a program called the "Childhood Trust" at Cincinnati Children's' Hospital. She says rural women are at high risk to have their animals harmed. She says up to 40 percent of women being abused don't leave their homes because they fear for their pets.
Tri-state shelters have worked to find temporary placement for pets through a network of volunteers. Singleton says the pet protection bill would be another safety net.  Any opposition to the bill seems to be over the cost in implementing some of its provisions.
Sherry Nolan will never know if a bill like that would have saved her daughter but she believes it may have, and would save others.  Shannon was killed two years after her marriage and her mother is still caring for one of her surviving cats.

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