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The Haven

P.O. Box 5382

Valdosta, Georgia 31603




office hours 8:00am-5:00pm


The Link Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence

May 14, 2018

If you see animal abuse please report it! Animal abuse has been linked to child abuse, elder abuse, and Domestic abuse.The Link also includes the co‐occurrence of animal abuse with other types of crime, such as homicide, weapons offenses,drug offenses, sexual assault, arson, assault, bestiality, human trafficking or other violent crimes. According to SPOTAbuse, pet-owning women entering battered women’s shelters often report that their batterer has injured, maimed, killed, or threatened the family pets for revenge or to psychologically control them. 76% of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family and 63% of children entering shelters discuss incidents of pet abuse. Often the violence and abuse towards the animals occurs in the presence of the women and their children used as a threat or scare tactic. Domestic Violence Victims may resist entering shelter from fear of leaving their pets behind and at risk in the hands of their abuser. It is important that first responders understand the link between animal abuse and family violence. When responding to domestic violence calls, be alert for signs that children and/or pets may be victims of abuse. When questioning children, the children may be more willing to talk about what has happened to their pet than about what has happened to them. Animal control and and animal shelters can be on alert for signs of family violence when pets are brought in. Take the time to share the link between animal and domestic violence with your vet. It is not mandatory for vets to report animal abuse, but many vets will be advocates for these hurt animals. Save a pet, save a child. 



Why Do Abusers Batter Animals?​  Power & Control

Threats ‐ The abuser will threaten to kill or abuse the pet during the relationship or if left behind, to demonstrate power and control over the family
Isolation ‐ Refusing vet care for the pet. Isolating the victim that the pet also suffers as it is not socialized with other animals. Using the animal to prevent the victim from leaving or to coerce her to return.
Emotional Abuse ‐ Giving away or killing the pet to take away the victims source of unconditional love. using the animal to punish the victim for leaving or showing independence.
Economical Abuse ‐ Refusing the victim to buy pet food or provide vet care.


What Victims Can Do?


-Have pets vaccinated against rabies.

-License pets with the town or county and make sure these registrations are in your name.

-Do not leave your pets with your abuser.

-Create a safety plan for your pets.

-Arrange for temporary shelter for your pets with a veterinarian, family member, trusted friend, or local animal shelter. 
-Remember, if you need shelter and pet help. Call The Haven. 229-244-1765












The Spot Abuse Project is an effort, being piloted in Milwaukee, to reduce the growing percentage of domestic violence, by encouraging more residents to dial 9-1-1 when they suspect animal abuse. The effort is based on research from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys that found 76% of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. The premise is that if more people can be convinced to dial 911 when they suspect animal abuse (an act generally considered to be easier than reporting domestic abuse), that the police will then have the opportunity to uncover a higher number of domestic violence cases.




Ahimsa House 

Ahimsa House, which is pronounced “uh-HIM-sah” and means “nonviolence” in Sanskrit, was founded in 2004 by Emily Christie after she lost a pet to domestic violence. Ahimsa House became Georgia’s first and only organization dedicated to helping the human and animal victims of domestic violence reach safety together. Ahimsa House services are available anywhere in Georgia and all services are completely free of charge.

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