Pet Program Overview
Forty-eight percent of family violence victims report being unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets. The MSCFV Pet Safety Program helps victims care for their pets throughout their journey from crisis to self-sufficiency, including:
- Pet supplies for household pets, including food and kitty litter, stocked in each of the five MSCFV offices available for any victim to take when they come for meetings with case managers, support groups and lawyers
- Pet supplies available for any victim entering emergency shelter with their pets
- Vet visits and emergency veterinary medical care
- Pet Boarding when the pet is unable to stay with the survivor, for medical or temporary housing challenges
The untouchable results of the Pet Safety Program include:
- Removal of the fear for pets’ safety when victims want to leave the violence
- Reduction in the number of pets experiencing abuse at the hands of a family violence perpetrator
- Hope and emotional support for victims by enabling them to keep their beloved companion without the worry of how they are going to afford the pet food, vet visits or other pet expenses
- Simple smiles and increased confidence in victims as they see the breadth of care and services that MSCFV offers, not only to the victims but to their pets as well
- Improved staff morale as case managers experience with the joy of knowing they are keeping victims and their ‘pet children’ together
By the numbers:
- Since July 1, 2018, thirty-four (34) clients reported that animal abuse had occurred in the home they were trying to leave.
- 19 clients received Pet Safety services so that they could continue to care for their pets as they worked on becoming self-empowered and self-sufficient.
- There were requests for emergency shelter for four cats, four dogs, two horses, and two other animals. Note that for the horses, MSCFV was working on finding shelter when the request was retracted.
- Of the survivors that started their Journey with MSCFV during this time period, their total pet count included:
- 11 cats,
- 5 cats and dogs,
- 19 dogs,
- one ‘other’ small animal,
- 2 horses, and
- 2 ‘other’ large animals.
- Service provided to a total of 12 dogs and 10 cats include:
- 36 cat food and 37 dog food requests (includes multiple requests for same pets),
- 22 Pet Supplies (other than food – includes multiple requests for same pets),
- 8 veterinary visits, including updated shots, and 15 temporary shelters.
 Ascione FR, Weber CV, Thompson TM, Heath J, Maruyama M, Hayashi K. Battered pets and domestic violence: animal abuse reported by women experiencing intimate violence and by nonabused women. Violence Against Women. 2007 Apr;13(4):354-73.