Text: S.1559 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/11/2015)

 
[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1559 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

114th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1559

To protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and 
dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by acts 
         of violence or threats of violence against their pets.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 11, 2015

Ms. Ayotte (for herself and Mr. Peters) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, 
                        Nutrition, and Forestry

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and 
dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by acts 
         of violence or threats of violence against their pets.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Pet and Women Safety Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. PET INVOLVEMENT IN CRIMES RELATED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND 
              STALKING.

    (a) Interstate Stalking.--Section 2261A of title 18, United States 
Code, is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1)(A)--
                    (A) in clause (ii), by striking ``or'' at the end; 
                and
                    (B) by inserting after clause (iii) the following:
                            ``(iv) the pet of that person; or''; and
            (2) in paragraph (2)(A)--
                    (A) by inserting after ``to a person'' the 
                following: ``or a pet''; and
                    (B) by striking ``or (iii)'' and inserting ``(iii), 
                or (iv)''.
    (b) Interstate Violation of Protection Order.--Section 2262 of 
title 18, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by inserting after ``another 
                person'' the following: ``or the pet of that person''; 
                and
                    (B) in paragraph (2), by inserting after 
                ``proximity to, another person'' the following ``or the 
                pet of that person''; and
            (2) in subsection (b)(5), by inserting after ``in any other 
        case,'' the following: ``including any case where the offense 
        is committed against a pet,''.
    (c) Restitution To Include Veterinary Services.--Section 226(b)(3) 
of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subparagraph (F) as subparagraph (G);
            (2) in subparagraph (E), by striking ``and'' at the end; 
        and
            (3) by inserting after subparagraph (E) the following:
                    ``(F) veterinary services relating to physical care 
                for the victim's pet; and''.
    (d) Pet Defined.--Section 2266 of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after paragraph (10) the following:
            ``(11) Pet.--The term `pet' means a domesticated animal, 
        such as a dog, cat, bird, rodent, fish, turtle, horse, or other 
        animal that is kept for pleasure rather than for commercial 
        purposes.''.

SEC. 3. EMERGENCY AND TRANSITIONAL PET SHELTER AND HOUSING ASSISTANCE 
              GRANT PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Agriculture, acting in 
consultation with the Director of the Violence Against Women Office of 
the Department of Justice, the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
Development, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall 
award grants under this section to eligible entities to carry out 
programs to provide the assistance described in subsection (c) with 
respect to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual 
assault, or stalking and the pets of such victims.
    (b) Application.--
            (1) In general.--An eligible entity seeking a grant under 
        this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at 
        such time, in such manner, and containing such information as 
        the Secretary may reasonably require, including--
                    (A) a description of the activities for which a 
                grant under this section is sought;
                    (B) such assurances as the Secretary determines to 
                be necessary to ensure compliance by the entity with 
                the requirements of this section; and
                    (C) a certification that the entity, before 
                engaging with any individual domestic violence victim, 
                will disclose to such victim any mandatory duty of the 
                entity to report instances of abuse and neglect 
                (including instances of abuse and neglect of pets).
            (2) Additional requirements.--In addition to the 
        requirements of paragraph (1), each application submitted by an 
        eligible entity under such paragraph shall--
                    (A) not include proposals for any activities that 
                may compromise the safety of a domestic violence 
                victim, including--
                            (i) background checks of domestic violence 
                        victims; or
                            (ii) clinical evaluations to determine the 
                        eligibility of such a victim for support 
                        services;
                    (B) not include proposals that would require 
                mandatory services for victims or that a victim obtain 
                a protective order in order to receive proposed 
                services; and
                    (C) reflect the eligible entity's understanding of 
                the dynamics of domestic violence, dating violence, 
                sexual assault, or stalking.
            (3) Rules of construction.--Nothing in this subsection 
        shall be construed to require--
                    (A) domestic violence victims to participate in the 
                criminal justice system in order to receive services; 
                or
                    (B) eligible entities receiving a grant under this 
                section to breach client confidentiality.
    (c) Use of Funds.--Grants awarded under this section may only be 
used for programs that provide--
            (1) emergency and transitional pet shelter and housing 
        assistance, including assistance with respect to any 
        construction or operating expenses of newly developed or 
        existing emergency and transitional pet shelter and housing 
        (regardless of whether such shelter and housing is co-located 
        at a victim service provider or within the community);
            (2) short-term pet shelter and housing assistance, 
        including assistance with respect to expenses incurred for the 
        temporary shelter, housing, boarding, or fostering of the pets 
        of domestic violence victims and other expenses that are 
        incidental to securing the safety of such a pet during the 
        sheltering, housing, or relocation of such victims;
            (3) support services designed to enable a domestic violence 
        victim who is fleeing a situation of domestic violence, dating 
        violence, sexual assault, or stalking to--
                    (A) locate and secure safe housing with their pet 
                or safe accommodations for their pet; or
                    (B) provide the victim with pet-related services, 
                such as pet transportation, pet care services, and 
                other assistance; or
            (4) for the training of relevant stakeholders on--
                    (A) the link between domestic violence, dating 
                violence, sexual assault, or stalking and the abuse and 
                neglect of pets;
                    (B) the needs of domestic violence victims;
                    (C) best practices for providing support services 
                to such victims;
                    (D) best practices for providing such victims with 
                referrals to victims' services; and
                    (E) the importance of confidentiality.
    (d) Grant Conditions.--An eligible entity that receives a grant 
under this section shall, as a condition on such receipt, agree--
            (1) to be bound by the nondisclosure of confidential 
        information requirements of section 40002(b)(2) of the Violence 
        Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13925(b)(2)); and
            (2) that the entity shall not condition the receipt of 
        support, housing, or other benefits provided pursuant to this 
        section on the participation of domestic violence victims in 
        any or all of the support services offered to such victims 
        through a program carried out by the entity using grant funds.
    (e) Duration of Assistance Provided to Victims.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), assistance 
        provided with respect to a pet of a domestic violence victim 
        using grant funds awarded under this section shall be provided 
        for a period of not more than 24 months.
            (2) Extension.--An eligible entity that receives a grant 
        under this section may extend the 24-month period referred to 
        in paragraph (1) for a period of not more than 6 months in the 
        case of a domestic violence victim who--
                    (A) has made a good faith effort to acquire 
                permanent housing for their pet during such 24-month 
                period; and
                    (B) has been unable to acquire such permanent 
                housing within such period.
    (f) Report to the Secretary.--Not later than 1 year after the date 
on which an eligible entity receives a grant under this section and 
each year thereafter, such entity shall submit to the Secretary of 
Agriculture a report. Such report shall contain, with respect to 
assistance provided by such entity with respect to pets of domestic 
violence victims using grant funds received under this section, 
information on--
            (1) the number of pets provided such assistance; and
            (2) the purpose, amount, type of, and duration of such 
        assistance.
    (g) Report to Congress.--
            (1) Reporting requirement.--Not later than November 1 of 
        each even-numbered fiscal year, the Secretary of Agriculture 
        shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, 
        and Forestry of the Senate a report that contains a compilation 
        of the information contained in the report submitted under 
        subsection (f).
            (2) Availability of report.--The Secretary of Agriculture 
        shall transmit a copy of the report submitted under paragraph 
        (1) to--
                    (A) the Office on Violence Against Women of the 
                Department of Justice;
                    (B) the Office of Community Planning and 
                Development at the Department of Housing and Urban 
                Development; and
                    (C) the Administration for Children and Families at 
                the Department of Health and Human Services.
    (h) Authorization of Appropriations.--
            (1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
        carry out this section $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 
        through 2020.
            (2) Limitation.--Of the amount made available under 
        paragraph (1) in any fiscal year, not more than 5 percent may 
        be used for evaluation, monitoring, technical assistance, 
        salaries, and administrative expenses.
    (i) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Domestic violence victim defined.--The term ``domestic 
        violence victim'' means a victim of domestic violence, dating 
        violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
            (2) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' means--
                    (A) a State;
                    (B) a general unit of local government;
                    (C) an Indian tribe; or
                    (D) any other organization that has a documented 
                history of effective work concerning domestic violence, 
                dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking (as 
                determined by the Secretary), including--
                            (i) a domestic violence and sexual assault 
                        victim service provider;
                            (ii) a domestic violence and sexual assault 
                        coalition;
                            (iii) a community-based and culturally 
                        specific organization;
                            (iv) any other nonprofit, nongovernmental 
                        organization; and
                            (v) any organization that works directly 
                        with pets and collaborates with any 
                        organization referred to in clauses (i) through 
                        (iv), including--
                                    (I) an animal shelter; and
                                    (II) an animal welfare 
                                organization.

SEC. 4. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that States should encourage the 
inclusion of protections against violent or threatening acts against 
the pet of the person in domestic violence protection orders.
                                 <all>

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