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D2003-43

Dear Daisy Dog

My husband is becoming increasingly abusive, and I’m just about ready to leave. But we have an old dog, and I’m not sure she’ll survive at home with my husband.

I yearn to take her, but I haven’t yet found a place that will accept her. The search may take a month or two, and I can’t afford to kennel her that long.

I just don’t know what to do.

Daisy Responds

You are right to get your dog out of the house when you leave. About 85 percent of abused women report that their abusers also threatened, harmed or killed their pets.

In surveys of women entering shelters, 20 to 42 percent reported that they delayed their escape from the home for fear their abuser would hurt pets left behind.

Others left the shelters and returned home when the abuser threatened to harm the pets.

Fortunately, many communities have programs like the one here, called PetNet, which provides free temporary foster care for animals affected by domestic violence. Volunteers open their homes to all companion animals, including dogs, cats, ferrets, birds – even horses.

Call your local women’s shelter or humane society to locate a PetNet program in your area. Good luck.

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