Animal Shelters Will Take in Domestic Violence Victims' Pets - NBC4 Washington

Animal Shelters Will Take in Domestic Violence Victims' Pets

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family pets can be some of the most helpless victims of domestic violence. News4's Wendy Rieger reports on a program that will shelter and care for an animal for free while the owner gets to safety. (Published Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016)

    Some of the most helpless victims of domestic violence are family pets, and many human victims will stay in dangerous situations because shelters will not allow them to bring pets, experts say.

    Domestic violence victims worried about their pets need to know about Safe Havens, a program that will shelter and care for animals for free while victims find safety for themselves.

    Law enforcement Officer Daniel D'Eramo has seen awful things happen to pets in domestic abuse situations.

    “Broken bones, broken jaw, split tongue,” he said.

    The National Coalition for Domestic Violence reports 71 percent of victims entering abuse shelters report their dog or cat was threatened, beaten or even killed by the person who was abusing them because hurting a pet allows them to control the victim -- to keep them from leaving or to get them to come back.

    Animal shelters across the region started a free program that will take your pets and keep them safe and sound so YOU can get to safety and get your life back on track.

    Safe Havens can only be accessed after a victim contacts a domestic violence shelter or service, which will contact Safe Havens and get the pets into the program. that way they insure that the human victim get help as well.

    Safe Havens will care for pets for 30 days for free, but if more time is needed, Safe Havens can tailor the program to accommodate.

    The Humane Society has a list of Safe Havens in the region, and you can search by zip code at the Animal Welfare Institute.