Dogs Get Safe Haven From Domestic Abuse
A study published by the ASPCA based on research done in 11 U.S. cities revealed that a history of pet abuse is one of the four most significant indicators of who is at greatest risk of becoming a domestic batterer. And further, numerous other studies have reported that between 18 and 48 percent of battered women, and their children, delay leaving abusive situations in fear for what might happen to their animals.
That’s why the opening of a dog park in a New York shelter for victims of domestic violence is such an important step forwarding helping such victims make the decision to remove themselves, along with their children and pets, to a safe haven.
The dog park, called the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park is part of a project sponsored by the pet care company in conjunction with the Urban Resource Institute (URI), an organization which provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive social services programs to help individuals and families in the New York metropolitan area overcome obstacles and better their lives.
Up until now, victims taking refuse at New York’s largest domestic violence shelter have been able to bring cats and critters. And now the family dog will be protected from abuse too.
The unique dog park features a ramp, tunnel, bridge and platform for dogs to play and exercise, as well as overhead trellises to ensure the privacy and security of shelter residents.
“When my children and I found out that we could bring our dog, Sparky, with us into shelter, we were overjoyed,” said one domestic violence survivor currently in URI’s shelter. “Sparky had always been there with us to comfort and even protect us from the abuse, and having him there with us as we work to put our lives back together makes our recovery process so much better.”
This is a huge step forward and hopefully other shelters around the country will follow suit.