The Forgotten Pets of Domestic Violence: 3 Things to Think About

It’s Thursday, and that means we’re rolling out another brilliant idea in our Innovation Bank of short, pre-recorded webinars. Today we’re looking at an especially important, unfortunately overlooked topic—the animal victims of domestic violence. Could your agency provide a safe harbor for these pets? Read the tips below, and register for the 30-minute recording to hear Devon Krusko explain the requirements for Red Rover’s Safe Housing grants.

Let’s Talk Numbers

Here are a few data points on domestic violence you may be surprised to learn:

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience domestic abuse
  • 70% of women in domestic violence shelters report that their abuser threatened, injured or killed their pets as a form of control
  • 10% of domestic violence shelters in the US accept pets
  • 48% of victims delay leaving their abuser because they don’t want to leave their pets behind

Begin Assessing & Addressing Community Needs 

Your shelter, says Krusko, is an important community resource. It’s smart to connect with the domestic violence shelter or agency in your area to learn what services are being offered. Krusko also suggests looking closely at the kind of requests you are getting for services you may not have: “What phone calls are you getting? What are people asking for at the front desk?” And most importantly, “Are you asking about domestic violence and/or abuse at intake?”

Create a Dedicated Safe Space

Red Rover’s Safe Housing grants offer resources for agencies to provide housing for pets of domestic violence victims. Space is always a premium at shelters, but many agencies have been thinking out of the box, for example, by repurposing formerly unused space in their basements. 

Outdoor kennels, such as the one in the above photo, sheds or other premade structures, can be great options, too. Watch the recording to learn more about how Red Rover can help you create a space, and for info on how to apply for a grant.

And P.S., Krusko reports that offering services and space spaces for these pets automatically “gives you a new donor demographic”—folks who are passionate about supporting causes that help people.

Learn more

The Innovation Bank
Safe Place for Pets: Red Rover resources and on-site/offsite safe housing directory
Red Rover Safe Escape grants


The Association

The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.


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