New York County Launches Pet Safe House, Task Force

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas. Publicado en Violencia Doméstica.

Ulster County, N.Y. is the latest community to provide shelter for pets of domestic violence victims who leave their abusers. County Executive Michael Hein on March 19 unveiled the initiative, citing statistics that 59% of domestic violence victims report “delaying leaving the home out of fear of leaving their pets behind.” Family of Woodstock, an emergency shelter and community service agency, will care for the animals with the county reimbursing the costs. County Executive Michael Hein announcing the initiative “Unfortunately in domestic violence situations, a large percentage of victims enter shelters while their partner either injured, maimed or killed their pet,” Hein told the Daily Freeman.

 “There is an unquestioned link between violence with animals and violence with people.” Family of Woodstock Executive Director Michael Berg said threatening a pet is one way an abuser controls a victim. He said abusers often tell their victims, “If you leave, I’ll kill the dog.” Merle Borenstein, of Have a Heart Animal Welfare, said the new program will help children during family crisis situations by allowing them to visit their pets. “The children of the families are devastated,” she said. “So for a person and their youngsters to know that the animal is safe ... and [they] can get them back when they’re in an apartment of their own, it’s just an amazing thing.” Hein said the need for pet sheltering led to the need to address other issues through a multidisciplinary Animal Abuse Prevention Advisory Task Force.
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