Order protecting duck said to be a legal first
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2008:
MASTIC, N.Y.–A protective order issued on April 3, 2008
on behalf of a duck named Circles was believed to be a legal first.
Ylik Mathews, 21, a neighbor who allegedly shot Circles in the neck
with a pellet gun, received the order after pleading not guilty to
felony cruelty in Central Islip First District Court. Previously
convicted of first degree robbery, Mathews faces up to two years in
prison. He was held on bail of $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.
“To my knowledge, it’s the first order of protection for a
pet in Suffolk County outside of domestic violence cases,”
prosecutor Michelle Auletta told Luis Perez of Newsday.
“In 2006, then-Governor George Pataki signed into law a
legal provision to include pets in orders of protection,” Perez
wrote. “The measure was first used when a judge in Queens listed Be
Be, a 5-year-old bichon frise, as a party in a domestic dispute.”
Maine and Vermont also adopted legislation authorizing orders
of protection for animals in 2006. California and Nevada followed in
2007. At least 13 other states have had similar legislation
ANIMAL PEOPLE is aware of protective orders issued to keep
people away from specific animals that predate the enabling
legislation, but they involved a direct risk to human safety, and
were issued chiefly to individuals who developed potentially
dangerous obsessions with zoo animals, for example trying to release
them or enter their habitats.