(BLOOMINGTON) - 71% of women who have experienced domestic violence reported that their abuser had injured or threatened a family pet as well.
WFIU reports, PAWSS, Providing Animals and Women with Safe Shelter, gives women who have experienced domestic violence a safe option in a difficult situation. PAWSS Co-Founder Erin Biebuyck reports, "A lot of abusers target animals as a way to control and intimidate their human victims." PAWSS is a program of Middle Way House, Inc., and it gives pets a safe place to go while survivors of domestic violence use the services of Middle Way House, Inc.
A network for foster homes is called upon when an animal enters into PAWSS. They are protected the same way that a person would be looked after at Middle Way House, Inc. Their location will be kept confidential.
Basic veterinary services are also provided by PAWSS. These services include spaying, neutering, and providing vaccinations. These services are provided to make the decision to leave an abusive situation easier.
"You know," says Erin Biebuyck, "there are a lot of reasons that people stay in abusive relationships, and we're looking to remove one more of those barriers."
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