Protect Pets and Women From Domestic Violence

No one should have to choose between leaving an abuser and protecting a beloved pet, yet far too many are forced to make this very choice.

As many as one-third of domestic violence victims delay leaving a dangerous situation out of fear that their pets will be harmed. And their fear isn't unfounded – researchers say a majority of women entering shelters report that their partners abused or even killed their pets.

But with only 3 percent of domestic-violence shelters accepting pets, it is difficult for victims to leave abusive situations for fear of what will happen to their furry family members. Some end up returning to dangerous situations or even living out of their cars to keep themselves and their pet safe.

In February, the Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS), was reintroduced in Congress. The legislation would help protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence and their animals by expanding domestic violence protections to include pets. It would also provide grant funding for domestic-violence shelters that provide pet housing, and include any veterinary costs in restitution payments.

Many states have already enacted policies to protect domestic violence victims and their pets. But our lawmakers must take the next step and enact a strong national policy that will save lives – animal and human.

Sign the petition today and urge your U.S. Representative and U.S Senators to cosponsor the PAWS Act and help save pets and victims of domestic violence.
Subject: Please cosponsor S.322/H.R.909, the Pet and Women Safety Act, to help pets and domestic violence victims

Dear Decisionmaker,

No one should have to choose between leaving an abuser and protecting a beloved pet. The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act would expand domestic violence protections to include pets and provide resources for victims to safely shelter pets from abuse. Please cosponsor this vital legislation.

As many as one-third of domestic violence victims delay leaving a bad situation out of fear that their pets will be harmed. Researchers say the majority of women entering women's shelters report that their partners abused or killed their pets. It doesn't have to be this way.

Thirty-two states have enacted pet protective order legislation, allowing courts to include pets in restraining orders that prevent suspected abusers from having access to their victims -- both human and animal.

The PAWS Act establishes a national policy on this issue, as well as encourages states to expand their legal protections for pets in abusive households. Please support S.322/H.R.909.

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