A 1997 survey of the 50 largest shelters for battered women in the United States found that 85% of women and 63% of children entering shelter discussed incidents of pet abuse in their families.

(Ascione, 1997)  

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How to Help Your Pets

In many cases, family violence victims delay leaving abusive situations because they fear for their pets' safety. Vera House created the Foster Pet Care Program to give victims receiving Vera House services the peace of knowing that their pets will be well cared for.

We have a network of prescreened volunteers ready to accept companion animals in their home on a short-term basis. If you are in an abusive situation, it is very important to create a safety plan for you, your children & your pet.

Pet safety plan information

If you are able to prepare for a departure with your pet, it is helpful to have the following items in a safe place out of your partner’s reach:

  • Pet medications
  • Carriers for transportation
  • Collar with identification
  • Vaccination and medical records
  • Proof of ownership (veterinarian bill or rabies records in your name)
  • Food, bowls, toys, grooming supplies, etc.
  • Information sheet including pet’s feeding schedule, habits and behaviors

If you have to leave your pet behind for your own safety, be sure to ask a law enforcement official to escort you when you return to your home to reclaim your pet.

Vera House is always in need of Foster Pet Care Volunteers ready to open their homes to needy pets at a moment's notice.

If you think you would be interested in helping in this way, please click HERE for a printable application to complete and return.

For more detailed information, contact Foster Pet Care Program Coordinator Karen Hargrave at 315-425-0818 ext. 249, or click HERE to send an e-mail.

To learn more about the connection between family violence and pet abuse, please visit the Humane Society of the United State’s website: Humane Society

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