Local experts discuss link between domestic violence, animal abuse

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A deeper understanding of the link between domestic violence and animal abuse is changing protocol for family crisis shelters across the country.

More and more domestic violence shelters — including three here in Albuquerque — are allowing victims of domestic abuse to bring their companion pets into the safety of the shelter, and out of harm’s way. 

Women who experience abuse are often concerned for the well-being of their pet causing them to stay in a dangerous situation. As a result, a growing number of shelters across the country are accepting all members of the family including the furry ones.  

Animal abuse is often the first and most reliable sign that domestic violence is taking place. Seventy-six percent of animal abusers also abuse another family member. Children who harm animals are far more likely to commit violent crimes later in life. 

The links between animal cruelty, elder abuse, and domestic violence are well-documented, and local group “Positive Links” offers many resources and additional information. 

In the KRQE studio, Cinderella the adorable Chihuahua charmed staff as the Positive Links ambassador and is also a survivor of abuse.  

If you see someone committing an act of abuse toward an animal or a person, call 311 or 911.

For more information, visit the Positive Links website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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