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Pledge To Protect Pets And People From Abuse

19,995 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

66.65% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Victims of domestic violence shouldn't have to leave their pets behind with an abusive partner in order to save themselves and their children. Pledge to support victims and survivors of abuse!


As many as 65% of pet owning women will delay leaving an abusive home due to fear for the lives of their pets, putting them further in harm's way1.

Outside the situation, it can be hard to understand why someone would stay in a relationship that results in physical, emotional, and physiological harm2.

The truth is, walking away from an abusive environment is incredibly complex. The dynamic between the person inflicting violence and the person experiencing violence in and of itself complicates the path to safety3.

Research shows abusers often have a pattern of violence towards all members of the household – including children and pets. When domestic violence survivors seek to flee their abusers, many are faced with the challenge of finding shelter for themselves, their children, and their pets4.

Domestic violence is rooted in power and control, and leaving an abusive situation can be a dangerous time for a victim/survivor5.

One scientific study showed that 89% of women who had companion animals during an abusive relationship reported that their animals were threatened, harmed, or killed by their abusive partner6.

Many shelters do not have the means to house companion animals. Sadly, many survivors stay in abusive homes for fear that the abuse of their animals will escalate if they're left behind, or that threats to their animals will be used to compel them to go back7.

At the legislative and charitable and personal level, there are efforts you can support to end this cycle of violence.

In 2017, Illinois became the first state to pass a law requiring all salon professionals to complete a one-hour training course on how to spot warning signs of abuse, offer verbal support and refer clients to crisis groups8. More than 20 states across the U.S. have since considered or passed similar types of legislation9. A growing number of states have also enacted legislation to include pets in protection orders in cases of domestic abuse10.

Victims of domestic violence shouldn't have to leave their pets behind with an abusive partner to save themselves and their children. They deserve safe spaces where they, their children, and their pets can all find safety together11.

Help victims and survivors by taking the pledge to protect pets and people from abuse. Together we can change the lives of women across the country by allowing them to bring their furry companions with them in a time of need.

More on this issue:

  1. Council on Accreditation (15 October 2019), "Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors by Welcoming Pets."
  2. Hilary I. Lebow, Psych Central (13 October 2021), "Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?."
  3. Women Against Abuse (2022), "Why It's So Difficult To Leave."
  4. Red Rover, "Domestic Violence and Pets."
  5. Eileen Martin, Center for Counseling and Healing (22 November 2022), "Domestic Violence is about Power and Control, not Anger."
  6. Elizabeth A. Collins, Anna M. Cody, Shelby Elaine McDonald, Nicole Nicotera, Frank R. Ascione, and James Herbert Williams, Violence Against Women (17 April 2018), "A Template Analysis of Intimate Partner Violence Survivors’ Experiences of Animal Maltreatment: Implications for Safety Planning and Intervention."
  7. Family Services of Tulare County (8 September 2020), "Understanding The Link Between Animal Abuse & Domestic Violence."
  8. Kastalia Medrano, TIME (30 November 2016), "Illinois Will Train Hairdressers to Spot Domestic Violence."
  9. Behind The Chair (2022), "Mandatory Domestic Violence Training For Salon Pros—Is Your State On The List?"
  10. Rebecca F. Wisch, Michigan State University College of Law, Animal Legal & Historical Center (2022), "Domestic Violence and Pets: List of States that Include Pets in Protection Orders."
  11. National Domestic Violence Hotline (2022), "Pet Safety."
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The Pledge:

As an individual who values all animal and human life, I hereby pledge to take a stand against verbal abuse, threats, and acts of violence against pets and the people that care for them.

I acknowledge that it can be very hard to walk away from an abusive environment. Moreover, leaving an abusive situation can be a dangerous time for a victim/survivor, even though abusers often have a pattern of violence towards all members of the household.

To this end, I pledge to support legislative, charitable and personal efforts to end this cycle of violence:

  • To support laws that enable salon professionals and other key roles to recognize warning signs of abuse, offer verbal support and refer clients to crisis groups.
  • To support Greater Good Charities' Rescue Rebuild program in reimagining shelters for women who are victims of abuse, updating domestic violence shelters to properly accommodate women and their pets.
  • And, to report abuse to the authorities by calling 9-1-1 when violence against people or pets is witnessed.

Victims of domestic violence shouldn't have to leave their pets behind with an abusive partner to save themselves and their children. They deserve safe spaces where they, their children, and their pets can all find safety together.

By taking this pledge, I promise to support this vision of a safer future for all.

Pledged by,

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Signatures: