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Animal Law

New Boston Shelter for Abused Pets Helps Abused Humans, Too

Posted Jun 7, 2007 4:01 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A first-of-its kind shelter program for abused pets in Boston is expected not only to aid animals targeted by abusive humans but help people in the pet's family protect themselves from violence, too.

That's because people who abuse animals often abuse fellow humans as well. Plus, it isn't unusual for an abuser to try to keep a human victim in line by threatening to harm the person's pet, reports the Boston Globe. Thus, if they can get their pets to safety, they will be more willing to leave the household themselves. Also, advocates say, abusers can use pets as hostages to prevent victims from complaining to authorities, and many shelters for abuse victims don't allow pets.

The program, funded by $8,000 in private grants, will place abused pets in private foster homes. Their location will be kept secret to protect both the animals and the humans involved from further injury. Once it is fully established in the greater Boston area, organizers hope to take it statewide.

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