Victims of domestic violence often succumb to threats of their animals by their abusers, and the New Hampshire legislature is considering laws to protect pets from that abuse. But giving "rights" to animals is nothing new and case law is slowly moving in that direction. While federal laws provide for penalties of up to $125,000 in fines and 10 years in prison for animal abusers, legitimate businesses, such as veterinarians and groomers have sometimes fallen victim to those laws and been assessed huge penalties by the courts. Many industry groups who represent these business owners are concerned. While cats and dogs are considered "property" of their owners, this view is clearly shifting, and animals are sometimes seen as having their own rights.