Help Get People in Abusive Homes and Their Pets to Safety

A young woman holding her dog.

Pets can bring great comfort to those who experience domestic violence, but fear for their safety can also get in the way of victims’ decision to flee an abusive home. We've written about state laws and community-based programs working to protect pets. In a post for the Administration for Children and Families' Family Room blog, Marylouise Kelley of the Family and Youth Services Bureau's Family Violence Prevention and Services Program writes about steps being taken to protect victims' pets.

For example:

  • Many of the roughly 1,500 shelter programs funded by the bureau via the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act offer onsite shelter for pets or collaborate with area programs that provide temporary housing.
  • The Family and Youth Services Bureau-funded National Domestic Violence Hotline connects callers with up-to-date listings of pet safe havens, thanks to a partnership with the Animal Welfare Institute’s Save Havens Mapping project.
  • Grantees of the State and Territorial Domestic Violence Coalition program also provide information about local partnerships between family violence and animal welfare advocates.

Kelley also has tips for how people can get involved in protecting pets and enabling victims to seek assistance. Read the full post, then share it!

Sample Tweets:

  • Pets are part of our family. If a family is experiencing violence, pets are too. Learn more at
  • 70% of domestic violence victims have pets. Don’t forget about pets when helping victims.
  • [Include a photo of your pet.] Pets should be protected from domestic violence. See if they are included in protection orders in your area:
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