Pets Often Victims in Domestic Abuse

A rising number of pets are being used as punch-bags by Devon domestic abusers.


The situation's become so grave that  Devon and Cornwall police now believe that there's animal cruelty in  20 per cent of high risk domestic abuse cases. 

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Parker, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Family pets are unfortunately another victim in abusive relationships and are often used as a way of controlling the abused - often either hurt directly or threats are made to hurt them.  If people see animal cruelty taking place it is important to report these incidents as it could be a sign of something much worse.”
 
Bella, a victim who lives in Devon, experienced her partner mistreating their family pet.  The situation she describes is distressing: CLICK HERE
 
Police and the RSPCA are urging anyone who is concerned about the treatment of animals to report any incidents.
The RSPCA also runs PetRetreat which fosters animals.  It allows the victim to end the abusive relationship without leaving the pet behind and at risk of cruelty.
 
Pet Retreat Manager Carolyn Southwell, from the RSPCA, explains: “The RSPCA understands the difficulty victims of domestic abuse face; they are often fearful of what could happen to their pet if they leave them behind, especially as refuges are unable to accommodate pets.
“We can offer advice and services to support victims and their pets if they decide to go into a refuge; once their lives are more stable they can be reunited with their pets.”  To hear more  CLICK HERE
To report an incident of animal abuse call Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 or the RSPCA on 0300 123 8278.
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