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Features September 2016 Issue

The Difficulty of Removing a Dog  from an Abusive Relationship

Who will take her and the dog?

The Difficulty of Removing a Dog from an Abusive Relationship

It's hard enough to escape an abusive relationship yourself. The obstacles become even greater when a beloved dog is involved. But avenues of help are growing.

The statistics speak for themselves. Seventy-two percent of pet-owning women who find safety in a women’s shelter report that their abuser had also injured, maimed, killed, or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control. Furthermore, 32 percent of the children who end up in shelters to escape domestic abuse have themselves harmed or even killed dogs or other animals; the lessons modeled by the offending adult seep in insidiously.

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