Vic Government announces $100,000 for pet care for domestic violence victims

In an encouraging move, the Victorian Government is taking action to help victims of domestic violence make the decision to leave their abusive partners by providing $100,000 in funding over four years to domestic violence support organisation Safe Steps to provide shelter to victims’ pets.

2012 report provided to the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges in New Zealand found cruelty to pets was most commonly reported as a form of punishment, with abusive partners often threatening or inflicting harm to pets as a form means of maintaining control in the relationship or preventing their partners from leaving.

Fears about what may happen to pets that are left behind with abusive partners often cause victims to stay in abusive relationships longer.  However, domestic violence support services have limited capacity to house or care for the pets of women fleeing abusive relationships.  Safe Steps will work with animal welfare agencies like the RSPCA to implement the program.

Read more about this from the Guardian and ABC.

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Companion Animals

Despite the happiness we see in the lives of some companion animals, the stark reality for Australia’s less fortunate cats and dogs should not be overlooked.

Unrestricted breeding, poor identification and a lack of regulation of pet shops and ‘backyard breeders’ are just some of the problems leading to the deaths of nearly 200,000 ‘surplus’ cats and dogs in Australia each year.

Increased law enforcement in the areas of early de-sexing and identification (such as a point-of-sale registration scheme) coupled with better education about ‘impulse’ buying, would lead to a marked fall in the over-population of our cherished pet species.


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