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The link between domestic violence and pets

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Published in Cats & Dogs News

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) is bringing awareness to the cause. Many victims with pets may refuse to leave a dangerous situation for fear of their pets’ safety. The AKC Humane Fund hopes that by providing education and grants to domestic abuse shelters that welcome or would like to welcome pets that accompany victims, it helps aid them in permitting pets and breaking the cycle of domestic abuse.

Below are some lesser known facts on the link between domestic violence and pets.

— 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence from an intimate partner within their lifetime.

— 48% of women prevent themselves from leaving a dangerous situation out of concern for their pet’s safety.

— In a recent seven-year study, pet abuse was noted as one of the top predictors for intimate partner violence.


— Approximately 3% of shelters in the United States have the space to accept victims’ pets.

— Safe havens for pets have increased and there are now about 1,200 safe havens nationally, which help either by offering refuge or provide information about housing pets safely.

— Some shelters or humane societies are specifically meant to house the pets of domestic violence survivors that have a formal relationship with a veterinarian or veterinary association.

To learn more or donate to the AKC Humane Fund, visit

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