Pet Protection Information
Federal & State Laws
- Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act (Federal), signed on 11/25/2019.
- Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act included in 2018 Farm Bill (Federal). Signed on 12/20/2018, it extended federal domestic violence protections to include pets and authorized $3 million/year in grants through 2023 to help domestic violence shelters accommodate pets.
- Ohio House Bill 33 (State), signed on 1/6/21. It requires social service counselors, and veterinary professionals to report suspected animal abuse and neglect to humane enforcement. It also requires law enforcement, dog wardens, and animal care officers to report suspected child abuse. The bill becomes law 90 days after signing (Legislative Service Commission Analysis).
- Starting in October 2021, Red Rover will increase its funding cap for domestic violence safe haven grants from $20K to $60K! Their safe haven grants can apply to housing on site, pet boarding programs or partnering with an animal organization to house pets off site. Red Rover has an ambitious goal of making 25% of all domestic violence shelters in the US pet-friendly.
- Assessment Report: COVID, Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse in Ohio, written by OAA Board Member Dr. Alana Van Gundy, summarizes the accessibility of state and county web-based information to victims and their companion animals during the pandemic, with recommendations on how to update government websites to improve assistance to domestic violence survivors and their animals.
- OAA’s H.B. 33 Tip Sheet, as requested by Jobs & Family Services, highlights how to identify animal abuse or neglect. and report the cruelty.
- OAA Resource Directory lists agencies near you to report animal cruelty to, or shelter pets from domestic violence.
- Animal Welfare Institute’s Safe Havens, Purina’s Purple Leash Program, Red Rover’s Safe Place for Pets, and Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T) list safe havens for pets nationwide.
- OAA’s Grants & Assistance page lists funders that will provide funding for shelters to build safe havens for pets, and also support to help animals escape domestic violence.
- The Cocoon in Wood County shelters victims of domestic violence and their pets.
- In April of 2021, Ohio House Bill 33 went into effect, aiming to protect animals and humans from situations of abuse and neglect. The bill mandates social workers, counselors, and veterinarians report cases of animal abuse, and also requires dog wardens and animal control officers to report child abuse. About one year after the bill went into effect, local shelters are seeing the impact. “We’re seeing more of those particular calls,” said Greg Willey, executive director at Friendship APL in Lorain County. “We’re really proud of our adult protective services and child protective services who are taking advantage and reaching out to us in these cases.” Read the full article here.
- WTOL, 3/22/22, “Nonprofits Community Pet Care Clinic and Compassionate Village in Toledo are working to keep pets and people together during a crisis”
- Housing and Homelessness 7/28/21, “How Domestic Violence Became the #1 Cause of Homelessness in L.A.”
- The Columbus Dispatch, 1/17/21, “As new Ohio law, House Bill 33 will protect reporters of animal abuse“
- Spectrum News, 1/7/21, Vicki Deisner interviewed regarding the passage of Ohio House Bill 33, “DeWine Signs Child, Animal Cross-Reporting Bill”
- OAA Executive Director interviewed on Spectrum TV regarding the passage of Ohio House Bill 33
- The Columbus Dispatch article, 10/26/2019, “Abuser Takes Advantage of Victim’s Bond with Pet”, Vicki Deisner
- USAToday, 02/24/2015, “Pet Shelter Removes a Barrier to Leaving Domestic Violence”, Stephanie Dickrell and Kirsti Marohn
Literature & Toolkits
- The 25 by 2025 campaign is working to get 25% of domestic violence shelters to become pet friendly by 2025. They have developed an advocacy guide for community members to learn how to create a dialogue around co-sheltering with their local domestic violence shelter.
- Society Register article, 2019 Vol 3 No. 3, “The Link between Interpersonal Violence and Animal Abuse”, co-authored by Vicki Deisner.
- Animal Welfare Institute’s Representing Domestic Violence Survivors with Pets in Ohio is a manual for domestic violence attorneys and advocates assisting survivors in obtaining protection orders for their pets
- National Link Coalition’s LINK-Letter, a free monthly publication that addresses current legislation, programs, and coverage of family violence incidents nationwide. The Coalition works in partnership to stop violence against animals and people.
- Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s 07/2010 report, In Harm’s Way, established a strong link between the safety of abuse victims and pets in Ohio. Includes results of a survey of Ohio domestic violence programs which assessed the needs and resources available to victims concerned about the safety and well-being of pets.
- Sheltering Animals & Family Together (SAF-T) Program created a guide to developing co-sheltering options for domestic violence victims and family pets.
- National Sheriffs’ Association Resolution 2019-03 and National Coalition on Violence Against Animals supporting letter with data linking domestic violence and animal abuse.
- Not Without My Pet: Understanding the Relationship Between Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Pets by Andrew Campbell.