Batterers hurt both humans and animals. How to find help if you and your pet are at risk.
Keep Your Pet’s Whereabouts Secret
According to the Humane Society of the United States, it’s uncommon for abusers to go looking for the pet--uncommon, but not unheard of. Be sure the person or agency taking care of your pet knows not to disclose his whereabouts. If your abuser is especially dangerous, it might be smart not to visit your pet for a while.
Have Proof of Ownership
In case the abuser tries to claim the pet is his so as to use him as leverage over you, it’s important to have as much proof as possible of your legal ownership. Vet records, a license, and a microchip registered to you can all help establish that you are the rightful guardian of your companion animal. That can be crucial if you had to flee home in an emergency and leave your pet behind. You may be able to reclaim him with the help of a law enforcement officer if you have proof that he belongs to you.
This episode is heartbreaking, isn’t it? Know that there are signs of hope. More and more vets, social service agencies, and law enforcement officers are aware of the links between animal abuse and human abuse. One study found that 70 percent of those who abused animals had also committed other crimes. In protecting people, we protect animals, and in protecting animals, we protect people too. Spread the word.
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