Safety Planning for Animals

The connection between domestic violence and animal cruelty is becoming well known. Some abusers may harm or threaten to harm animals for a variety of reasons. Some may want to demonstrate their power, to retaliate for perceived acts of independence, to keep a victim silent or to coerce a victim to stay or return to an abusive relationship.

Safety planning is not just for you and your children: it's also for your pets. If you have a dog or cat that you think would be unsafe if you leave, consider a safety plan for your pets. This may include getting a friend or relative to care for your pet temporarily. If you are a guest or client of Safe Passage, you are eligible to apply to the Safety Plan for Animal Network (SPAN). Through a collaboration between Safe Passage and Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society (Dakin), a foster home or shelter may be available for your pet. Only domestic animals are allowed in the Safety Plan for Animal Network (SPAN) program.

Consider including your pet(s) in your restraining order.

A recent change in law allows courts to order the protection of an animal as part of a restraining order.

Safe Passage will communicate with Dakin about the fostering of the pet. Guests are asked not to directly contact Dakin, but to direct questions or concerns to Safe Passage staff.