In abusive relationships the victim will often stay in a bad situation because of fear of her pets or children getting hurt.  The Abuser will often threaten to hurt the dog in order to control her action and until recently if she where to leave to go to a shelter the pet would have to get left behind.

This past summer Massachusetts past an Animal Control Bill which enacted several animal protections measures are included in the law, such as:

  • Creates a statewide spay/neuter program to reduce the number of homeless animals in the Commonwealth and will, in turn, also reduce the cost to cities and towns for housing and sheltering these animals.This is funded by a voluntary tax check off.
  • Adds enforcement provisions to section 139A (the spay/neuter deposit law for animals adopted from shelters and animal control facilities) to ensure these animals can’t reproduce.
  • Requires animal control officers to receive training. People are often surprised to learn that their local animal control officer is not required to receive training for the complicated work they do to keep the people and animals in their community safe. This is funded by the tax check off.
  • Prohibits carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gas as a means to “euthanize” dogs and cats.
  • Reduces dog bites by improving the dangerous dog law in a breed neutral manner.
  • Allows pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders to protect both animals and people.  (MSPCA)

Recently a Massachusetts women who had a restraining against her ex-boyfriend was able to add her dog to be protected by the restraining order as well.  The women and her children are safe in a shelter and the dog is being kept safe at a foster home for the time being.

See the story as shown on WHDH news:



More information of the link between animals and domestic violence:


American Humane Association 



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