domestic abuse

How You Can Make a Difference To Animals Affected by Domestic Abuse

Super Ideas To Make A Difference To Pets Affected By Domestic Abuse

Imagine… You have a choice. End an abusive relationship. But to do so means leaving your home and moving far away. And in doing so, you have no option but to leave your dog behind.

This is a decision faced by too many women and men experiencing domestic abuse. Often it's described as the hardest decision they've ever had to make.

Not much of a choice is it?

How Are Animals Affected By Domestic Abuse?

Sadly, many animals living with their paw-parents who're in an abusive relationships, will be directly affected.

At best they'll experience indirect impacts of emotionally drained and strained care.

But at worst they'll be starved, injured and traumatised. So leaving your much loved pet with the person who's been abusing both of you isn't something you'd do unless you were desperate.

Under-estimating the impact of domestic abuse - It's true to also say that many people under-estimate the fact of how children are affected by domestic abuse. And our pets are like children - living in the home. Witnessing and sensing the tension and violence.

But it can be easier to find alternative accommodation for a survivor of domestic abuse and their children, than it is for a survivor and their pet! This can't be right!

Is there an answer to helping animals and their owners affected by domestic abuse?

Yes there is! Around the UK and many countries, there are many animal charities who offer pet fostering schemes. These enable victims to leave their relationships and ensure their pet's safety.

For instance in the UK: Cats Protection has a "Paws Protect Scheme" which enables cats to be fostered in safe homes. And Dog's Trust has their "Freedom Project" to help dogs to be safe. A charity called Refuge 4 Pets also offers fostering for a variety of animals

There are many other schemes too in the UK and around the world.

What Can You Do To Help Pets Affected by Domestic Abuse?

Unfortunately all these pet fostering schemes need more help! They need:

  • More funding
  • More foster carers
  • More awareness of their existence.

This is where you can make a difference! You can help by:

  • Fundraising for these charities schemes
  • Help fellow animal lovers know how they can make a difference by becoming foster carers. Or you could become a foster carer yourself!
  • Promoting awareness of these schemes, so that your customers and contacts who maybe living with domestic abuse know that they can help their animals to be safe. You can do this be including information on your website, social media, publications, invoices, etc.

Now You Can Take Action To Help Pets Affected By Domestic Abuse

Were you aware of this issue before reading this blog? I hope it's helped you see that you can make a difference. Remember, domestic abuse is not a private matter, it shouldn't be kept behind closed doors. And no matter how small, you can make a difference.

If you are affected by domestic abuse, then please contact one of the national helplines available. As you maybe reading this from anywhere across the world, i'm not listing all national helplines here as are too many to mention. So just go to Google and tap in domestic abuse help (in your country) and find your helpline.

Are you a veterinarian and like to know more about the signs of domestic abuse? Then take my "Forgotten Victims" digital course - click here for info.

OR I can provide 1-2-1 coaching to help you develop your response to this issue in your veterinary or animal healthcare practice. Email me at info@ to discuss.

Like to develop your horse or pet care business?

Click here for more information on consultancy. Or email me at info @ for info on coaching opportunities with me.

About The Author

Suzanne Harris is an equestrian and canine entrepreneurial coach and consultant to veterinarians who want to help prevent animals being affected by domestic abuse. With over a decade's experience as a domestic abuse expert combined with a lifelong love of animals,

PS: You can find more equestrian and pet care themed business articles over at my Linkedin, see more here