Escaping Domestic Violence as a Pet Owner
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The human-animal bond is important to well-being, especially in times of distress. For victims, their pet may be their only source of comfort and support. But abuse affects more than people: pets experience domestic violence in ways similar to people. In many cases, pets are used as leverage to further threaten, harm or control victims. In some cases, pets may try to intervene, leading them to become a direct target of an abuser.
PALS offers pet-ready apartments and services across New York City in three boroughs that allow families and pets to live and heal together in the same secure space. Our aim is to break the cycle of violence and foster independence and hope.
Survivors of domestic violence are often subjected to multiple types of abuse over significant periods of time, including threats or harm to pets to help maintain the abuser’s power and control. When preparing to escape an abusive situation, it’s helpful to have a safety plan for the entire family, including pets. Consider the following safety tips:
Supplies. Set aside supplies, pack an emergency bag and keep it hidden, but easily accessible. Make sure to include necessary food, medication, and records for pets.
Animal ownership documents. Accumulate registration records, vet records, a microchip, and/or a current photo to prove ownership of your pets in a safe place.
Friends and family. Find a friend or family member to help care for your pet in case of a sudden emergency. They are an important part of your overall pet-care plan.
Explore options. Look into resources in your community for assistance with your pets. Look for a local co-sheltering program or animal welfare organization that can provide services. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has a list of resources here.
By definition, all domestic violence victims are crime victims and many need financial assistance to recover collateral destroyed by abusers. New York State’s Crime Victims Board provides compensation to victims for losses they incurred as a result of a crime. The New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) offers compensation for victims of crime, including domestic violence. Visit their Services page to learn more and apply.
URI serves all survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner violence and gender-based violence regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.
Imagine a safe place for pets to heal along with their owners.
Private and secure pet parks let pets exercise and play.
Co-living for people and pets is offered at PALS shelters.
We provide a safe place for survivors and their pets to heal together.
Pets can run and play to their hearts’ content.
Co-living residences fully equipped for pets
Beautiful, fully outfitted co-living apartments throughout New York City.
Fun common areas for kids to learn, play and grow.
PALS client finds safety and healing with her cat.
PALS provides healing spaces for survivors, their children and pets to enjoy.
PALS co-living model eliminates the trauma of having to leave pets behind.
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PALS relies on financial support from donors like you to help families in crisis. Won’t you invest in this one-of-a-kind program?
Your donation ensures that individuals, families and their pets can escape abuse, safely heal and gain the resources needed to rebuild their lives.
can provide vitamins and supplements for a cat that’s healing from abuse
can provide special food for a dog with allergies
can provide behavior assessment and training for a dog suffering from trauma
can provide a wellness exam and vaccinations for a pet entering shelter
can provide a habitat and supplies for a reptile pet
The Margaret Whitton Charitable Trust
Bruce G. Geary Foundation
A Kinder World Foundation
Norma Green Foundation