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MARSHFIELD

New domestic-violence law shields Marshfield dog

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A South Shore pup named Panzer has become the first four-legged friend to find haven under a new Massachusetts law that allows animals to be included in domestic-violence restraining orders. A judge in Plymouth District Court invoked the law after a Marshfield woman sought a restraining order against her allegedly abusive boyfriend. The law, part of a larger bill, was signed in early August by Governor Deval Patrick and outlines safe pet ownership procedures. Prior to the law, a judge could rule only that an abuser must stay away from adults and children. Now, the abuser can also be kept away from pets.