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Bayer raises awareness to help support and protect women & pets from domestic violence

by Emily McVey | Oct 30, 2017

Bayer Animal Health is committed to keeping pets healthy and safe, and that includes keeping pets and pet owners away from the dangers of domestic abuse. While a strong network of domestic violence shelters exists to provide women and children a safe place, there are very few shelters that also provide accommodations for their pets. Nearly half of abused women stay in relationships out of fear for their pets’ safety, and each year nearly one million animals are abused or killed due to domestic violence. Abuse victims are forced to choose between staying in an abusive relationship and leaving their pet with the abuser.

Fortunately, steps are being taken on a national level to change this and Bayer is dedicated to advocating for these efforts. The Pet and Women Safety Act, or PAWS Act, (H.R. 909/S. 322) was reintroduced earlier this year by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Dean Heller (R-NV). This bicameral, bipartisan legislation protects victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by violence against their pets. It also provides grant funding to programs that offer housing assistance, support services and training for survivors and their families, including pets.

One of the five domestic violence shelters across the country that Bayer sponsors is located in the Kansas City region. Rose Brooks Center serves as a leading example for domestic violence shelters across the nation, providing a safe haven for survivors and their pets. In 2017 alone, Rose Brooks has already provided:

  • 44,722 safe nights for people.
  • 2,749 safe nights for pets.
  • safety for over 40 animals – including dogs, cats, birds, bunnies and turtles.

Bayer has also created www.petandwomensafety.com, a website that shares the latest news and facts about the PAWS Act along with an electronic form for supporters to take action and ask their local legislature to help protect domestic violence survivors and their pets by supporting this bill, which already has a strong backing with 230 sponsors in the House and 20 in the Senate.  Within a year, over 1,700 e-letters have been sent to Congress from petandwomensafety.com urging them to pass the PAWS Act. Bayer’s hope is that these efforts continue to raise awareness and urge legislators to pass the PAWS Act so that women will not have to choose between their own safety and that of their beloved pet.

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