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Keystone Link, OVC Grant to Help Domestic Violence Victims and Their Pets Leave Abusive Situations

According to the American Veterinary Association, 99 percent of Americans consider pets to be companions or members of their families. Unfortunately, this loving bond can be used against domestic violence victims when their abusers use the animals as pawns for control.

More than 71 percent of battered women reported that their abusers have harmed, killed or threatened animals to coerce, control and intimidate them. These batterers also use animals to control and emotionally abuse children in the home. And often, victims will not leave a domestic violence situation for fear of leaving an animal behind with an abuser.