In the past twenty years, a growing body of research has firmly established a significant link between domestic violence and animal abuse. According to the Spot Abuse Project, 76% of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. Perpetrators of violence in the household will often threaten, torture, or hurt their partners animal(s) as a method of control. Animal abuse is one form of intimidation listed in the Power and Control Wheel used by advocates for victims of domestic violence.

The Power and Control Wheel demonstrates different sets of behaviors that an abusive partner may use to maintain power in a relationship.

Victims of domestic and family violence are often left in a position of deciding whether to stay in a dangerous situation or flee, leaving behind their beloved pets. Due to this barrier, staff at the Embrace shelter are excited to announce their plans to remodel their garage into a kenneling system for residents’ pets. Having this kenneling system will assist in breaking down the obstacle of leaving an abusive situation. To assist in providing services to survivors’ pets, Embrace is looking for pet-related donations such as collars, leashes, dog houses, dog beds, water and food bowls. For more information on this project, or how you can help, call 715.532.6976.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you are not alone! Contact Embrace for free, confidential support at 1.800.924.0556 or text 715.532.6976.

For more information about the link between animal abuse and domestic violence, visit

Last Update: Aug 12, 2019 11:58 am CDT

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