With so much acrimony and partisanship in the country these days, lawmakers are taking a pause . . . or should we say PAWS . . . to pass legislature that bridges the gap between the right and left. Yes, this is NOT just a ‘pet’ project. These bills have genuine legs and are focused on puppies helping both men and women where they need it.
Two Puppy Bills
The Senate and the House are currently in the process of reviewing the following bills, which have a good chance of being passed: H.R. 2327 and H.R. 909, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS), and the Pets And Women Safety (PAWS) Acts of 2017.
Each of these bills involves man’s [and women's] best friend, and both provide for two underserved demographics. In the case of H.R. 2327, veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries are provided opportunities for healing through grant-funded service dogs. H.R. 909 expands the number of domestic abuse shelters that can accept pets, with the added benefit of assisting abused women escape domestic violence.
Democrats & Republicans
Stephen Ira Cohen is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 9th congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is sponsoring both bills on behalf of the professional pet care community.
H.R. 2327 has bipartisan support among a good number of veterans’ groups, and 200 House co-sponsors. With approximately 20 veterans committing suicide each day, the PAWS Act will help America’s military service members overcome their physical and psychological wounds, when they return from their tours of duty.
H.R. 909 is likewise an important bill with significant support from both sides of the aisle. It has 230 co-sponsors in the House and 20 in the Senate. It will provide assistance to many of the approximately one in four women, who are domestically abused each year.
Abuse of dogs and women are tied . . .
Studies have shown that in a home where female abuse is taking place, a pet is also an accompanying target. With nearly half of women saying they have returned to an abusive home out of concern for a pet’s safety, H.R. 909 is clearly needed legislation to save lives and prevent harm to innocent human and animal victims.
Whether in Washington, D.C. or any state in the union, pets are everyone’s best friend. Congress should use the power of pets to bring people together by passing H.R. 2327 and H.R. 909.
I will be following these important bills and posting updates as to their success in becoming laws. Readers, please write and call your representatives and senators to cement the chances of these two bills passing in the House and Senate. Thank you.
Primary Source: Congress passing bipartisan ‘pet’ bill