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The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, a bill that helps provide shelter and housing assistance for the companion animals of domestic violence victims, is expected to be signed into law on Thursday, according to FOX 13.
The bill also includes pets in federal law regarding stalking, protection order violations and restitution, and urges states to allow pets to be included under protection orders. So far, 29 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, include pets under protection orders.
“We can all agree having people safe at home is a goal that we can get behind,” Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA 5th District), a sponsor of the bill, tells the outlet.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, “Abusers are well aware of the bond between their victims and their companion animals, and they exploit that bond to control, manipulate, frighten, and punish their victims. Because there are few resources for victims with pets, abusers’ threats to harm the pets are often effective, thus locking victims and their companion animals in a cycle of abuse.”
“As many as 25 percent of domestic violence survivors have reported returning to an abusive partner out of concern for their pet,” Clark tells NECN.
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