SafePlace Pet Foster Program
The Pet Foster Program is an off-site foster care program designed to provide temporary care for pets and companion animals of current clients of the SafePlace family shelter. Animals fostered in our program receive a complete health screening, including vaccinations and spaying/neutering.
In recent surveys of survivors entering shelters across the country, 71% report that their partner threatened, hurt or killed their pets before they left. Others confirmed they delayed leaving their partner due to these threats.
SafePlace is committed to making sure survivors of Domestic Violence are able to leave when they are ready and find safety for all their family members, including their pets.
Why do batterers threaten, abuse, or kill animals?
- To demonstrate and confirm power and control over the family.
- To isolate the victim and children.
- To eliminate competition for attention.
- To force the family to keep violence a secret.
- To teach submission.
- To retaliate for acts of independence and self-determination.
- To perpetuate the context of terror.
- To prevent the victim from leaving or coerce her/him to return.
- To punish the victim for leaving.
- To degrade the victim through involvement in the abuse.
Why should we recognize animal abuse as a form of battering?
- Animal abuse exposes the deliberateness of battering rather than loss of control.
- Animal abuse and child abuse are closely related.
- Animal abuse is often a tool used by batterers to emotionally control or coerce victims.
- Threatening, injuring, or killing animals can indicate the potential for increased violence or lethality.
- Victims may postpone leaving out of fear for their pets' safety.
- Identifying animal abusers can help identify other victims of violence within the family.