More than 40% of women experiencing domestic violence who own pets significantly delay their escape if it means leaving behind their pet with the abuser (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2000).
Violence against women and children is closely tied to violence against pets. Abusers use the strong emotional bond between the victim and his/her pet to exert power and control. Pets provide immense emotional support to the victims in times of fear and isolation.
For these reasons, pets must be taken into consideration alongside women faced with the need to flee an abusive home.
At Hamilton PAWS, we work with these women to support them to find temporary shelter and care for their pet and themselves, so that they can leave the abusive situation.