Letters to the Editor

Pet safety bill

In these divisive political times, some issues are nonpartisan, such as animal protection.

It is praiseworthy that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Miami) is working across the aisle and has introduced the bipartisan bill, Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act (HR 1258/S 1559). In cases of domestic abuse, victims are often reluctant to leave their abusers because it would mean leaving their beloved animals behind, risking the animals safety. Often, the abuser will hurt or kill the animal to further traumatize the victim.

This bill will remove this barrier for the victims by authorizing grant money so that domestic-violence shelters can accommodate pets or help arrange for pet sheltering.Pets are family, and the PAWS Act will guarantee safety of all family members by giving domestic-violence victims resources to leave their dangerous situations earlier and take their much-loved animals with them.

I encourage voters to ask their representatives and senators to co-sponsor this important bill.

Valerie Howell,

Coral Gables