My partner is abusing our pet and I need to leave. What should I do?
Phil Arkow, head of the American Humane Association's Human-Animal Bond Center, offers advice for those who wish to leave a violent home but are staying out of concern for pets.
- Include animal welfare -- removing or protecting pets -- in your escape planning.
- Arrange animal foster care in advance through a kennel, sympathetic veterinarian, or one of the more than 100 women's shelters nationwide that help find pets housing. For a shelter, see the Humane Society of the United States web site,
- In preparation for potential court battles, establish ownership by gathering such papers as vaccination certificates, vet bills, licenses, and proof of adoption or purchase.
- Have photos taken of you and your animals.
- Understand that new state laws shield animals belonging to you, your children, even the abuser. As a result, you may be able to remove his pets from home as well.
- View our tips on how to find a foster home for your pets.
Source: Ladies' Home Journal, March 2008.