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East County News Service

March 15, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- Many domestic violence victims report staying in abusive and dangerous relationships out of fear of leaving their beloved pets behind. Their abusers often threaten to harm or even kill their pets if they attempt to leave. Studies have shown this is the case for one out of every four women trying to escape domestic violence, reports.

Right now, there are very few domestic violence shelters that can accommodate pets, making the choice to leave even harder. But there is hope: the Pets and Women’s Safety Act, or PAWS Act, would supply funding to help shelters take in people and pets fleeing violence.

This would alleviate abuse victims’ fears about their pets’ safety, and get them out of dangerous situations faster.

The measure would also amend criminal codes to make it a crime to threaten a pet and mandate reimbursement of veterinary costs if a pet is harmed has launched a petition asking Congress to pass the PAWS Act) and help save lives.

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