ASPCA Encourages Lawmakers to Address the Link between Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence

September 18, 2015

Yesterday the ASPCA hosted a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill to highlight the need for Congress to pass the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act. Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA Senior Vice President for Forensic Sciences & Anti-Cruelty Projects, was among those presenting the overwhelming evidence of the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty.

Many abusers threaten or commit violence against pets as a means to intimidate and control their victims. Sadly, victims of domestic violence often remain in dangerous situations to protect their pets or delay going to a shelter because they fear for the safety of the pets they must leave behind.

The PAWS Act would criminalize the intentional targeting of a domestic partner’s pet, establish a federal grant program to help victims safely house their pets and add veterinary care to the list of costs that victims can recover from their abusers.

During yesterday’s briefing, Representatives Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), sponsors of the PAWS Act, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, stressed the need for this legislation. We appreciate their leadership on this very important issue.

Please encourage your representative to join the nation’s leading animal welfare and domestic violence advocates in supporting the PAWS Act. When we protect pets, we protect people.