Violence Awareness

Keeping Pets Safe and People Safe – Domestic Violence Awareness

When abuse happens in a home it invariably involves the whole family, including any pets or livestock.

Many perpetrators use the family pet to intimidate, threaten, coerce or control their children or partners. This often includes the use of threats or violent actions towards the animal to obtain a victim’s compliance.

A 2012 study commissioned by the Alberta SPCA showed that 59% of women delayed leaving an abusive relationship out of concern for their pet’s welfare*.

What can I do if my pet is in danger?The SafePet program at Winnipeg Humane Society helps individuals leaving abusive partners by providing temporary housing for their pets. Many shelters offering support to individuals facing domestic abuse do not allow pets unless they are registered service animals. The Winnipeg Humane Society’s SafePet program arranges foster homes for the pets of individual’s leaving abusive relationships, ensuring that they are well taken care of while the individual receives the support they need. The Winnipeg Humane Society will arrange a foster home for any type of animal for up to three weeks. The service is free and confidential.

Take Action

For more information or access to SafePet, please contact the Winnipeg Humane Society at (204) 982-2049, or visit the website here.

If you require additional information, support or counselling services please contact the Elmwood Community Resource Centre at (204) 982-1720

*(Alberta SPCA, 2012, Inside the Cruelty Connection: The Role of Animals in Decision-Making by Domestic Violence Victims in Rural Alberta)

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