Pet Safety Program

The Link Between Animal Abuse/Cruelty and Violence

 The FBI has known about the link between animal abuse and violence against other persons for years, as they use this information in serial killer profiling.

 A study of those receiving services for child abuse from the New Jersey public child protection agency found that animals in the home had also been abused in 88 % of the pet–owning families.

 In two-thirds of those families in New Jersey, the abusive parent had killed or injured the animals to control a child.

A survey of women seeking refuge in a Colorado Springs domestic violence shelter found 23.8% had observed animal cruelty by their abusers.

 A similar study in Utah found 71% of battered women with pets reporting that their animals had been threatened, harmed, or killed by their abusers.

 Another study of battered women’s shelters found more than 60% of shelter directors reporting that children disclosed pets being hurt or killed.

 Of those individuals who abuse animals:

  •  8% are more likely to be involved in violent crime
  • 44% are more likely to be involved in property damage crime

  • 37% are more likey to be involved in drug related crime

  • Almost universally, males are perpetrators of animal abuse- 97% of the cases are adolescent young males involved in anti-social behavior and have a need for power and control.

  • Of 101 women sheltered, 25% said they delayed the abusive situation for fear of leaving their pets.



The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has updated its Safe Havens Mapping Project for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims, which provides an integrated, comprehensive, state-by-state directory of sheltering services for the pets of domestic violence victims. The only such national listing, it is searchable by zip code and is an important resource for the victims of domestic violence and their advocates, as well as for the courts, police, prosecutors, veterinarians, and humane law enforcement and mental health professionals.

To find a safe haven, or to learn more about them please visit