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Reasons for Awareness

  • Animal abuse may be co-occurring in homes where there is domestic violence
  • Victims/family members may have pets they have left behind and may return to care for them (putting themselves and pets in grave danger)
  • Pets are often targeted as a way to coerce, scare, or intimidate children
  • When pets are in the home, they may become an engagement opportunity for children to discuss abuse
  • Pets may be abused, neglected, threatened, or targeted first
  • The presence of pets may be a barrier to individuals/families getting help, especially if families cannot bring their pets to shelters
  • Pets may need veterinary care
  • An animal in the home may actually be an undocumented service/support animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or emotional support animal and require documentation. These kinds of animals may actually help families stabilize during difficult times
  • Pets may be included on Orders of Protection in New York State
  •  Victims/family members may have a very strong attachment to their pets