According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 71% of pet owners entering domestic violence shelters report that their abuser had threatened, injured, or killed family pets.
Our pets are members of our family. People protect their pets as they would a family member. Pets may be used to manipulate a victim of abuse into doing what the abuser wants. A person may be coerced into staying with an abuser for the sake of the safety of their pets if they know or suspect that their abuse is capable of violence against an animal.
Victims of abuse may not be able to take their pets into shelter with them, and these pets often are left with the abuser as a result. This leads to increased anxiety and stress for the victim as they enter the shelter, not knowing whether their pet will be safe.
So what does threatening your pet look like?
Any action or behavior that causes you to fear for the safety and wellbeing of your pet.
It does not have to be an explicit, verbal threat of violence against your pets. This form of abuse can include jokes, miming actions, intimidating or egging-on your pets, encouraging your pets to be more violent, and more. If the behavior causes you to be hesitant about leaving your pets with them, or makes you feel like you have to keep this person happy so that they don’t harm your pets–
This is abuse.
There is help, and you are not alone.
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