According to the ASPCA, research has shown that much like children, pets are often used as pawns in domestic violence. Without provisions to adequately protect their pets, victims of interpersonal violence may feel compelled to remain in abusive situations. Consider the following statistics:
- 83 percent of directors of the largest shelters for battered women in the U.S. indicated women entering the shelters discussed incidents of pet abuse in the family;
- 71 percent of pet-owning women in shelters reported that a pet had been threatened, injured or killed by their abuser; and
- 49 percent of pet-owning victims who fled their abusers and sought shelter continued to worry about their animals after entering shelter.