While it is a sick and sad thing to think about, animal abuse happens every day. There are many reasons why some people commit such horrible crimes. In many cases however, it has been proven time and time again that there is a link between animal abuse and domestic abuse. Those who commit acts of violence against lovers, children, and animals tend to do so because they feel empowered. They feel as though they can teach someone a lesson because the person or animal they are beating on is weaker than they are. This must stop. But when will it?
Pets are a big part of homes that have children. In fact, 74.8 percent of the homes that have children, ages six and up, in them will have at least one pet. Women are the primary caregivers in three fourths of these homes. Reports collected from interviews with women in United States and Canadian domestic violence shelters show that about 70 percent have been witness to violence towards the animals in the home, from the abuser who attacked them.
Women actually will stay in an abusive home longer simply because of a fear of leaving pets behind. They fear that the pets will be killed or harmed in some way and so they stay in hopes of protecting the animals. These women fear that by leaving the home, the pets could easily become the targets.
Making a Difference
When police officers are now called to the scene of domestic violence, they now look for animal abuse as well. There is special training out there for law enforcement officials so that they can spot animal abuse. And since homes with domestic violence have a high likelihood of animal abuse, it is important to make sure that an eye is kept open. If a police officer finds an abused pet, a call must be placed to an animal shelter for assistance in removing and caring for the animal.
Temporary Pet Housing
Since many women stay in abusive homes for longer than they should be fear of leaving their pets, domestic violence shelters, humane societies, veterinarians, and other organizations are teaming up to make sure that there is safe and adequate shelter for the animals. This would be temporary housing. By providing a safe place for the animals, the women can leave quicker and the animals will not be left behind to be abused.
Protection from Abuse Orders for Pets
Many people already know that a protection from abuse order prevents the abuser from going near the person or persons that they have harmed. This means that the home, children, workplace, and vehicles must be avoided or the abuser can be arrested. But up until recently, there was nothing in place that legally kept the abuser from the family pets. Now, there are some states that include pets and other family animals, such as livestock, in their protection from abuse orders.
It is not yet a perfect system and who knows if there will ever be such a thing. For now, all we can do is to make changes in the law when we notice that changes are needed. The more steps we take to protect our pets, the better the entire world will be, for both human and animal victims.