The Connection Between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty

Among both animal rights advocates and those committed to protecting people from violence in the home, there is a growing awareness of the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. Animal abuse is often a predictor and an indicator crime for domestic violence, elder abuse and child maltreatment.  One recent study found that 71% of pet guardians entering a domestic violence shelter told of an abuser who had harmed or killed a family pet, frequently as a method of exerting control—a cruel demonstration of “what could happen” to the person.