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Group aims to help pets, owners who experience domestic violence

Wednesday - 8/20/2014, 5:21am  ET

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WASHINGTON -- When people are subjected to domestic violence, their pets aren't safe either -- and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants to help.

"The link between animal cruelty and domestic violence is actually really well documented," says Andrew Binovi, a federal legislative manager with the ASPCA.

Binovi cites studies that show 71 percent of pet owners who go to domestic violence shelters say their abusers threatened, hurt or killed a family pet.

The ASPCA is backing proposed legislation that has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, would extend protections to the pets of victims of domestic violence.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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