Success: Senate Backs Safeguards for Animals Enduring Domestic Abuse

Target Tim Kaine, United States Senator

Goal: Applaud efforts to protect pets from dangerous perpetrators of domestic violence.

They are among the most vulnerable and yet the most unprotected victims of domestic violence. Harrowing stories such as the one recounted in this ForceChange petition demonstrate the many instances when beloved pets become targets of domestic abusers. Now, thanks to concerted efforts like those advocated in this petition, all victims of domestic violence will soon benefit from increased federal protections under the Pet and Women Safety, or PAWS, Act.

Difficult-to-digest statistics put forward by one of the nation’s leading animal welfare organizations—the ASPCA—paint an alarming picture. Nearly 70 percent of domestic violence victims in one study claimed their abusers also abused household pets. Compounding these tragic circumstances, up to one-third of these victims indicated they stayed with an abuser because they feared leaving the pet behind. Unfortunately, under five percent of shelters housing domestic violence survivors currently allow pets, leaving countless individuals the difficult choice of fleeing from danger or remaining in a potentially deadly environment to shield a cherished companion: a companion who is often a lifeline for victims.

The PAWS Act, sponsored by Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, will widen statutes against domestic violence on the federal level to include violence (such as kicking, punching, or shaking) or threats of violence toward a pet. Convicted abusers will also be required to pay veterinary expenses for harm done to pets. Perhaps most beneficial of all, the act will funnel funding to initiatives that help both human and animal victims of violence seek safety and shelter together.

Due to passionate lobbying, the PAWS Act was incorporated into a broader bill that recently passed the Senate with extensive bipartisan support. Sign this petition to praise the progression of a promising testament to proactive animal welfare advocacy.


Dear Senator Kaine,

Congratulations on the success of the PAWS Act. The efforts of your colleague Senator Warner, yourself, and the other tireless advocates who made this initiative possible will not soon be forgotten.

The PAWS Act stands to aid so many individuals who stay in harmful and abusive environments out of intense fear for animals that are often their greatest source of comfort and peace. More so, the actions brought forth by this initiative will help ensure the safety and well-being of so many cats, dogs, and other pets whom too often become the forgotten victims of domestic assault.

Thank you for demonstrating how citizens of this country can still cross all perceived lines of division and come together for a common good.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Augusto Petrone

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  1. Beth Marie says:

    So much animal abuse in our country, we are actually worse than other countries who ban circuses, fur farms, etcetera. Government must step it up and rid our country of worsening abuse towards animals. Pathetic the USDA STILL ALLOWS HORRIBLE SORING OF HORSES IN THE SOUTH! This particular group pays the fines and buys their cruelty! Drain the Swamp of the rich people who sore horses for ribbons and selfish needs.

  2. Derinda Nilsson says:

    Sounds good on paper. We need action. This is so overdue. Just like sex offenders have there list of sex crimes listed, same should be for animal abusers , so animals don’t end up abused again and again.

  3. Selena Brooks Selena Brooks says:

    Comment to this ! for the lives of innocent animals.

  4. Maureen Garney says:

    It’s about time something is being done! We seem to have an epidemic in this entire world of animal abuse. It is unacceptable and must be stopped now!

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