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West Side Pets News & Notes

3/20/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Battered Women’s Shelter urges support of pet protective orders

DOWNTOWN AKRON — According to the Battered Women’s Shelter (BWS), national studies show that 48 percent of domestic violence victims report they delayed leaving a dangerous situation because they feared for their pets’ safety and knew of no way to remove the animal or where to take it.

BWS officials say that many of its hotline callers report they are seeking emergency shelter but refuse to leave until they are assured that their companion animal is protected out of fear that their abuser may injure, neglect, dispose of or otherwise abuse their pet.

Since the start of 2014, 33.3 percent of BWS’ court clients who filed a protection order reported they believed, or did not know, if their abuser also abused their pet. BWS officials expect this percentage to increase.

According to BWS officials, leaving a companion animal behind is a barrier that could be lifted through Ohio Senate Bill 177. Animal abuse is a recognized indicator of future violence and is a common and violent crime in domestic violence situations, according to BWS officials.

Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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