MENANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A workshop on the link between pet abuse and domestic violence was held on this first day of Domestic Violence Awareness week.
In domestic violence situations, pets like Mocha can be used as leverage to keep a victim in a violent situation or they can be harmed.
“Where you see animal abuse and animal cruelty, that’s the red flag,” Brian Shapiro, of the Humane Society of the United States, said.
Police officers and domestic violence advocates are learning about that link in a presentation by the Humane Society of the United States.
“So law enforcement can respond and start to make our society and the Capital District safer for people and for animals as well.”
Members of the Albany County Crime Victim & Sexual Violence Center say pets can be one of the reasons victims stay in an abusive relationship.
“The abuser may threaten to harm to give away to do many things to an animal in order to force a victim to stay,” Amanda Petrie, of the Albany County Crime Victim & Sexual Violence Center, said.
At the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, there’s a safe haven in partnership with Unity House and Equinox where pets of domestic violence victims can be temporarily housed.
“When victims go into the shelter they typically can’t bring animals with them so this is really the only option for them,” Marguerite Pearson, Spokesperson for the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, said.
The workshop covered how to recognize when pets are getting proper care.
Telling the story of 84 Great Danes rescued from a home in New Hampshire and the correlation between animal abuse and other crimes.
“You’re going to see gang violence you’re going to see domestic violence and it’s important to keep this in mind,” Shapiro said.
Investigators and advocates encouraged to take a closer look at the people surrounding a report of pet abuse and hopefully prevent future tragedies.
“To make people aware to look a little deeper a little harder so when you’re seeing animal abuse maybe ask those questions about domestic abuse when you’re seeing domestic violence ask those questions,” Karen Ziegler, Albany County Crime Victim & Sexual Violence Center, said.
Mocha has been at the humane society for about a year. She’s a sweet girl and desperately looking for a home. If you’re interested, stop by the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.