Animal Abuse Links to Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Linked to Animal Cruelty

From planning pet-friendly vacations to spending oodles of money on toys and treats, most people consider their pets members of the family. Unfortunately, when it comes to domestic violence, pets are also deemed part of the family unit and forced to suffer in silence at the hands of abusers. Some studies estimate that 88% of companion animals living in households where domestic violence occurs are routinely threatened, harmed or even killed.

In cases of spousal, child or elder abuse, a beloved family pet can become a pawn for an abuser who is willing to injure or kill the animal as a form of revenge, to create isolation, or to intimidate his or her victims.

ASPCA Special Agents often witness this trend firsthand. "We see a connection between animal abuse and domestic violence all the time," says Special Investigator Diane DiGiacomo. "For example, we'll go out and investigate a complaint of animal abuse and find that the children have already been removed from the home or that the suspect has a history of spousal abuse."

Studies also show that 50% of domestic violence victims delay seeking help for fear that an abuser will harm a pet. Furthermore, most domestic violence shelters are simply not set up to accommodate companion animals—however, in recent years, animal “safe haven” programs, which provide foster care for pets in domestic violence situations, are becoming more common in cities across the country.

And at least 11 states have enacted legislation to allows pets to be included in domestic violence-related orders of protection. This means a court can order an abuser to stay away from an animal or impose other conditions to protect the pet's safety—violations could result in arrest.

Greenconsciousness Notes: There are only 10 states listed and of course Wisconsin is not one of them.

To learn more about the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty, or to find out how you can lobby for stronger legislation to protect animal victims of domestic violence, visit If you or your pet is a victim of a violent crime, please call 911 or your local law enforcement.

Greenconsciousness Notes: Half the time it is the cops who kill your pets and they enjoy it as do many hunters. The ASPCA is naive as are most of the animal legal organizations. They are too busy blaming pet owners to actually look at law enforcement as part of the problem. Police are not screened for animal abuse and fire fighters and police are big offenders. See: South Carolina v Rye. The fact is the link between DV & AA is old news. The studies started in the 1970's but still the courts do not take the acts of animal abuse seriously and often punish the victims worse than the abusers.

Megan A. Senatori Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:35 am No Comments Posted
The story of a man who allegedly beat his girlfriend’s 5-week-old puppy to death with a flashlight has captured the attention of our community.

The story is heart-wrenching. But the lesson it can teach our community is deeper than many recognize.

Animal abuse and domestic violence are inextricably linked. A 1995 survey of 72 women seeking shelter for abuse in Wisconsin revealed that 86 percent had pets. And in 80 percent of those cases, her batterer had abused her pets.

Batterers routinely abuse animals as a tool of domination and a threat of the consequences if crossed. There is an easy explanation for why batterers use animal abuse to control their human victims — it works.

Three studies have confirmed that between 18 percent and 40 percent of women seeking shelter from abuse report that concern for the well-being of their pets prevented them from seeking shelter earlier. These statistics do not account for victims who never left to protect their pets.

I commend the Fitchburg Police Department and the Dane County District Attorney’s Office for taking swift action in this case.

But when a man pummels a puppy to death as his girlfriend stands helplessly by, unable to save her pet, there are two abuse victims.

That is the lesson I hope our community learns from this horrible incident.

— Megan A. Senatori, Madison, co-founder and president, Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims Program (

As I said hunters comprise a large majority of domestic animal abuse. Narurally, the national rifle association has stopped reform in Wisconsin - read their crap below and do the opposite. Note their chosen targets.

Bill Seeks to Make Animal Abuse Equal to Domestic Abuse in Wisconsin

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Senate Bill 162, introduced by State Senators Fred Risser (D-26), Tim Carpenter (D-3), and Julie Lassa (D-24) would make “harm or threat of harm” to an animal a form of domestic abuse. In Wisconsin, being charged with domestic abuse means losing the ability to purchase or possess firearms.

The absurdity of SB 162 is that it not only equates animals to humans, but also does not define what “harm or threat of harm” is. Animal “rights” extremists could argue that the training of hunting dogs or everyday treatment of dairy cattle constitutes abuse. A restraining order filed against you for common activities involving an animal will result in loss of your Second Amendment rights and a violation could put domestic abuse charges on your record.Please contact the members of the Senate Committee of Judiciary and Corrections and respectfully urge them to vote against SB 162 when the time comes.State Senate Lena Taylor (D-4), Chair(608) 266-5810 State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-5), Vice-Chair(608) 266-2512 or (866) 817-6061Sen.Sullivan@legis.wisconsin.govState Senator Glen Grothman (R-20)(608) 266-7513 or (800) 662-1227Sen.Grothman@legis.wisconsin.govState Senator Mary Lazich (R-28)(608) 266-5400 or (800) 334-1442Sen.Lazich@legis.wisconsin.govState Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-31)(608) 266-8546 or (877)


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