Paws Act Coalition Announced
Almost half of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations because there's not a safe place for them to stay along with their pets. These women can't leave behind their pets -- their responsibility, their one source of comfort. A coalition of non-profit and for-profit organizations wants to help by urging the passage of Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act (H.R. 909, S.322), a bill that focuses on keeping both domestic violence survivors and their pets safe.
Organizations supporting the PAWS Act in this coalition include:
- Bayer Corporation
- Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI)
- Nestle Purina PetCare
- Noah's Animal House
- Pet Partners
- Urban Resource Institute
"Bayer recognizes the great need to support domestic violence shelters that care for both survivors and their beloved pets," said Lauren Dorsch, Deputy Director, Communications, Bayer Animal Health. "Survivors of domestic violence should not have to choose between their safety and a loved one, and these shelters make it possible for them to heal in a safe place, without saying goodbye to their pets."
Unfortunately, many do have to make the decision to leave their pets behind because only three percent of domestic violence shelters in the United States help both survivors and their pets.
"For most pet owners, the bond with their pet is incredibly strong, and for people in abusive relationships, their pet can be an important source of comfort," said Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, PhD, Chief Veterinary Officer at Purina. "Purina is very proud to support efforts to keep families and their pets together during this time of healing."
Leaving a pet behind can mean putting them in harm's way. Many households with domestic violence include pets, and 85% of women in domestic violence shelters said their abuser also harmed a pet.
Two of the organizations in this coalition — Noah's Animal House and Urban Resource Institute — are committed to helping victims and their pets. Together, they've saved more than 1,500 pets so far.
Organizations in the PAWS Act Coalition work to promote awareness of the bill, as well as encourage support from those that can help. There are currently a number of co-sponsors in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Interested in learning more about this issue? Please visit our website PetAndWomenSafety.com for more information and resources.
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