Victims Fear for their Pet's Safety
Emergecny Support Shelter has three pet-friendly rooms for victims of domestic violence to bring their pets with them to safely. When domestic violence victims who have pets consider fleeing their abusive homes, concern for the safety of their pets can be a determining factor in whether they chose to stay or leave. Sadly, there is often a link between human violence and animal cruelty; abusers may use animals as a way to control victims. Here at ESS, we have personally seen many instances where victims would rather stay in the home with the abuser or resort to living in their car than leave their pets behind. We are happy to be able to offer a place for victims of domestic violence to bring their pets for safety and healing.
It is important to acknowledge the seriousness of violence against animals. When we ignore animal abuse, we may also be ignoring abuse to humans. No one deserves to be abused, animals included.
The Bond between Pets and their Owners Can Be Thraputic
The bond between pets and their humans can facilitate healing for many survivors and their children, Relationships with pets help people develop the ability to form and express attachments and to respond to grief and loss .
In a study with children ages 7-10, they were asked to identify the 10 most important individuals in their lives, the children most often included the names of two pets on their list. In another study, 42% of 5-year olds spontaneously mentioned their pets when asked, “Whom do you turn to when you are feeling sad, angry, happy, or wanting to share a secret?” Children can be so wise and intuitive!