P.O. Box 764  Murray, KY 42071
(270) 759-1884


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PetSafe Domestic Violence Assistance

Abusers often use threats of harming the family pet to discourage a woman from leaving a dangerous domestic situation, studies show.  Out of fear for the pet, a woman may feel that she (and her children) are forced to stay in a violent, even life-threatening situation.

PetSafe helps these victims of domestic violence by providing temporary shelter for their companion animals when the abused persons seek safe housing in the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center shelter or other safe housing which cannot accept cats or dogs.

Statistics also indicate that two-thirds of domestic violence cases involve a parent who had either killed or injured the family pet in order to gain control of a child. A child experiencing the family being torn apart because of domestic violence is bad enough, but to lose the family pet when they seek safety makes the situation doubly worse. 

Through PetSafe, the Humane Society provides a secure, confidential home for the family pets until the family leaves the safe house and can be reunited with their pets.

Statistics relating domestic violence and pets are building:

  • Over one million children nationwide are confirmed as victims of child abuse or neglect annually (report from National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995).

  • 21 percent of intentional animal cruelty cases also involved family violence (Humane Society of the United States study, 2000).

  • More than 85 percent of pet-owning women entering crisis shelters mentioned incidents of pet abuse (Ascione et al., 1997).

  • One in four women will not leave an abusive home for fear that the family pet will be harmed if left behind (as reported by the American Humane Association, 1997).

For more information, please call the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Office at (270) 443-6001 or the Humane Society at (270) 759-1884, or stop by the Humane Society Office located at 607 Poplar Street, Suite A-1, on the first floor of the Weaks Community Center.

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