Tag Archives: Shelters

Bookmark this one for any time you need a happy 10 minutes (courtesy of our overlords):

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Our adoptable overlords

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Via Windham County Humane Society:

This is (finally!) fantastic news for animals in abusive homes, and for the people who won’t leave them behind:

Massachusetts Dog is First in the State to be Protected under Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A six-year-old Labrador mix named Panzer is being kept in an unidentified location to protect him from a former abusive owner.  He is the first dog in Massachusetts to be recognized under a restraining order for domestic violence.

In August, Governor Deval Patrick signed a large bill called “An Act Further Regulating Animal Control.”  A smaller section of the law stipulates that possession of an animal may be awarded to a victim to “prohibit the accused from abusing, threatening or taking a pet.”  Previously, a judge could only mandate that the accused stay away from the victim and their child(ren).

Research has indicated that over 70 percent of abused women say their abusers have threatened to harm or kill their pets.  Nearly 50 percent of victims put off leaving abusive and dangerous situations for fear of what might happen to pets that get left behind.

“Leaving a pet behind is not an option,” Holmquist said.  “It’s about animals and their safety and removing the barrier so people can feel the pet is protected in a situation.”

Panzer is currently staying in a foster home while his mother and her young son stay at an out-of-state domestic violence shelter.

“It is hoped that [the judge’s] order for the inclusion of Panzer in [this] Restraining Order has set a precedent and that moving forward we will see a lot more of these Abuse Protection Orders,” said Marshfield Animal Control Officer Demi Goldman.

Hopefully this law will gain favor and be passed in other states.  Perhaps then domestic violence shelters might also open their hearts a little more to allow animals to stay with and be just as well-protected as their owners who were brave enough to leave and seek help.

Excellent news:

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a law today that bans breed specific legislation.

Before pit bulls, it was rottweilers. Before rottweilers, it was dobermans. Before dobermans, it was shepherds. And it’s always, always been the people who are responsible.

Right on, Gov. Patrick.

Another great ASPCA ad: Hovercat

Human shelter taking animals, as they all should

Heroic Dog Saves Owner from Abusive Spouse, Incites Change in Shelter Policy

When the Rose Brooks Center for women took in a domestic violence victim and her heroic dog, they bent the rules in doing so, setting the wheels in motion for a much needed change in policy.

Like most battered women’s shelters, the Rose Brooks Center did not accommodate pets. But this was no ordinary dog: when her boyfriend tried to kill the woman with a hammer, her fearless Great Dane jumped in the way, laying over her body and taking most of the blows until the man threw both of them out of a second story window. The dog suffered multiple broken bones in the attack, sparing his owner’s life in the process.

Despite their injuries, the woman was able to escape with her dog, and eventually made her way to the Rose Brooks Center. When they offered her a bed and told her no pets were allowed, she was defiant, and for the first time in its history, the shelter overlooked regulations and allowed the dog to stay.

That decision would eventually lead to a permanent change in policy. Knowing that forty percent of battered women with pets stay in abusive relationships in order to protect their pets, the center’s chief executive officer, Susan Miller, said adding a pet-friendly wing would remove a serious barrier that women face when attempting to leave an abusive relationship. Miller was the one who had ultimately made the call to admit the woman and her dog.

This is so good.

I have many posts here about why, but here’s an intro:

Animal abuse and violence against women and children

“We were bored.” Animal abuse, the abuse of women and children, and the erosion of empathy

Animal abuse laws begin to catch on –