Domestic violence touches not only the lives of women and children who are victimized, it also affects family pets in profound ways. Many women are reluctant to leave an abusive relationship because they worry about the welfare of their pets. The Humane Society of Indianapolis offers a safe harbor for family pets, allowing women to seek safety at a local shelter that helps victims of domestic violence.The Julian Center in Indianapolis plays an important role in the community. The center provides safe temporary housing for women and children escaping domestic violence. Unfortunately, a portion of women who desperately need to get away from a violent partner are reluctant to leave family pets behind. There is a reason why these women fear for their pets. Family pets often suffer at the hands of an abuser and are commonly used as a means of controlling battered women.
In fact, pet-owning women who turn to women’s shelters frequently report that their pets have suffered physical abuse, threats of abuse and even death in some cases, according to the American Humane Association. Women in these households are caught in a heart-wrenching bind. If a woman dares leave her abuser, her beloved pet may be maimed, or worse. “Having a safe place for a pet to be can mean the difference between a person deciding to leave an abusive relationship and staying in an abusive relationship,” states Catherine O’Connor of The Julian Center.
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To relieve women from this terrible burden, the Indianapolis Humane Society has partnered with The Julian Center. Women who wish to leave an abusive relationship can bring their pets with them. With the help of the Humane Society, the center places these pets with a local network of pet foster families. Pets must go through a medical check-up before placement, but that’s a minor issue when lives are on the line. The Humane Society also makes sure pets receive proper medical care during their stay with foster families. Thanks to organizations such as The Julian Center, abusers can no longer use pets to threaten and control battered women, and pets are freed from life-threatening abuse.
Check out how other caring people are rescuing pets and helping them find good homes.
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