Pets as Pawns: The Co-existence of Animal Cruelty and Family Violence

| | | | |
by ()
More Information...

Short Description:
This study examines the links between violence against animals and domestic violence. The issue was investigated with a combination of in-depth interviews and surveys with women in shelters/refuges and surveys of animal shelter managers.


The study finds that animal abuse, or a threat of animal abuse, can happen both within the relationship and after a woman has left the relationship. 54.7% of women responding to the survey said that a family member or a partner had threatened to hurt or kill their animal. 90% of all threats reported were made by the person's partner, with 10% coming from another family member. 36.5% reported an animal had been hurt or killed during their relationship. 27.6% of the respondents at the woman's shelter reported staying in the relationship longer than they otherwise would have because of the presence of an animal.

Of those respondents with children, 32.7% said their child(ren) has seen a pet be threatened to be hurt or killed, and 24.5% of the children witnessed someone in the family hurt or kill an animal.

Threats were most commonly made toward pets (85.7%), followed by farm animals (10%). Incidence of actual injury or death was also highest among companion animals (81.3%) followed by farm animals (14%). According to the report, "dogs were most commonly reported as being threatened or killed (45%). This was followed by cats (33%), birds (6%) and cows (4%)."

Spot Check Number: 2006
Sponsor: Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals & The National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges
Researcher/Author: Michael Roguski
Animal Type: Companion Animals
Research Method: In Person Interview/Survey, Print Survey, Telephone Survey
Geographic Region: United States National
Number of Participants: 280
Population Descriptors: shelter and rescue workers, female refugees, New Zealand
Year Conducted: 2012
File Attachments: You must be logged in to access attachments (see login and registration links above)

Looking for full text articles?

If the full text of an article is not available, click here for other options.

How do we select database articles?

Want to know how we choose the articles that we share? Click to read about our process.


Did you find this research helpful in your work for animals? If so, please consider a donation to the Humane Research Council to help us with the costs of maintaining, expanding, and improving