Here’s Why We Need More Pet-Friendly Domestic Violence Shelters
Want to help more victims of domestic violence find safety? Let people bring their pets with them to domestic violence shelters.
That’s a conclusion of a report released this week by the nonprofit Urban Resource Institute.
The report is based on data collected since the group opened New York City’s first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter two years ago, and the city’s second earlier this year. Both are part of URI’s People and Animals Living Safely — or PALS — program. (As of this week, both now have dog parks, too, donated by Purina.)
“Because two-thirds of American households have pets, we know that a significant number of domestic violence victims are pet owners and will need pet-friendly shelter,” Nathaniel Fields, URI’s president and CEO, told The Huffington Post.
These shelters clearly fill a need: Animal abuse and abuse of domestic partners often go together. And studies show as many as 48 percent of domestic violence victims may put off leaving their abusers out of fear for their pets’ safety.