Sending Office: Honorable Katherine M. Clark
Sent By:

Sign on by COB Today

Current signers: Earl Blumenauer, Anthony Brown, Vern Buchanan, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, Susan A. Davis, Madeleine Dean, Peter DeFazio, Adriano Espaillat,
Brian Fitzpatrick, Tulsi Gabbard, Alcee Hastings, Deb Haaland, Eddie Bernice Johnson,
Michael T. McCaul, Anne McLane Kuster, John Larson, Barbara Lee, Alan Lowenthal, Stephen Lynch, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Grace Napolitano, Richard Neal, Joe Neguse, Jimmy Panetta, Chris Pappas, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, David Price,
Mike Quigley, Jamie Raskin, Jackie Speier, Haley Stevens, Jan Schakowsky, David Trone,
Fred Upton, Nydia Velazquez, Susan Wild.

Supported by: Animal Legal Defense Fund; Animal Welfare Institute; Animal Wellness Action; Association of Prosecuting Attorneys; Humane Society Legislative Fund; Humane Society of the United States; National Animal Care and Control Association.


Dear Colleague,

We hope you will join us in ensuring that any CARES 2.0 package includes additional funding to support shelter and transitional housing services for survivors of domestic violence and their companion animals. Reports of domestic violence have skyrocketed
across the country in recent weeks as stay-at-home orders are subjecting many victims of abuse to prolonged periods of isolation with their abuser. COVID-19 related job loss and additional child care burdens have also increased the likelihood of domestic violence
incidents, and there is mounting concern that support services will be unable to meet the growing need for their assistance.

Research has also shown that the challenge of leaving an abusive relationship is magnified by the existence of a family pet. Roughly one-third of domestic violence victims delay their departure from abusive relationships out of concern
over the fate of their pet. Abusers frequently exploit the emotional bond between victim and pet as a control mechanism; inflicting abuse or the threat of abuse as a means to impose their will. These threats often continue even after a victim has escaped the
abuse. One study reports that as many as 25% of victims return to their abuser out of fear for their pet.

Congress has already moved to address this issue with the passage of the the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act in the 2018 Farm Bill, but we are concerned that the $2 million appropriated for this program in FY21 is insufficient to meet the surge in need brought
about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, in addition to significant increases in Violence Against Women Act program funding, we are requesting the inclusion of an additional $4 million for the Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance
grant program in any upcoming recovery package to support vulnerable populations during this crisis. We hope you will join us in addressing the immediate, increased needs of domestic violence survivors and their companion animals.

To sign on to the letter, please contact Casey Davison, no later than COB April 15.


Katherine Clark

Member of Congress

Brian Fitzpatrick

Member of Congress

Katie Porter

Member of Congress

Vern Buchanan

Member of Congress