Did you know that 48 percent of abused women refuse to leave, or delay leaving, an abusive home because they have no safe place to house their pets? In response to this startling fact, the American Humane Association launched the Pets and Women’s Shelters (PAWS) Program in 2008 to help keep domestic violence victims and their pets together.
From a heartfelt endorsement by a Hollywood celebrity to a prized segment on America’s highest rated morning news show (The Today Show), the PAWS program has garnered a great deal of national recognition. On the West Coast, recording artist Paula Abdul signed on as an enthusiastic pro-bono spokesperson for the program, appearing in a public service announcement for PAWS and donating a portion of the proceeds from a charity auction of her designer wardrobe to the program.
The Bradford County Humane Society (BCHS) of Ulster, Pa. is teaming up with the Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (ARCC) in Towanda to raise awareness of “The Link” between domestic violence in humans and animals. BCHS and ARCC are envisioning a day when no family members, including pets will be harmed. “Until that day comes, we will do the best we can to raise awareness and help keep women and their pets safe,” said Jenna Arsenault community coordinator for BCHS.
“The Link” is the connection among all types of family violence to include child, maltreatment, domestic violence, elder abuse, and animal abuse. While evidence of the presence of one type of family violence does not guarantee that other types will be present, the presence of any form of violence puts all family members at risk.
Help end the cycle today and register to walk in the BCHS and ARCC dog walk on Oct. 2.at Round Top Park in Athens, Pa. Register at the Bradford County Humane Society on Route 220 in Ulster or email firstname.lastname@example.org. to request a registration form. The cost to register is $50.