Safety Planning for Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors

Dog - Photo by Dominik QN

Create a Safety Plan that Includes Your Pet

If you are planning to stay...

  • Keep emergency provisions for your pet in case your abuser withholds money.
  • Keep the phone number of the nearest 24 hour emergency veterinary clinic
  • Establish ownership of your pet by creating a paper trail (e.g. obtain a license, have veterinarian records put in your name)

If you are planning to leave...

  • Obtain safe emergency shelter for pet, somewhere that won't be disclosed to your abuser (e.g. veterinarian, friend, family, a safe haven for pets program)
  • Pack a bag for your pet that includes:
    • food
    • medicine
    • documents of ownership (receipts from adoption or purchase of pet, license to establish ownership, receipts for animal purchases)
    • health documents (veterinary or vaccination records)
    • leash
    • lease
    • ID and rabies tag, if a dog or cat (these will also help establish ownership)
    • carrier
    • toys
    • bedding

(If you must leave without your pet, remember to leave enough food, fresh bedding, litter, etc. for your pet.)

If you have left...

  • Keep pets indoors (if possible)
  • Don't let the pet outside alone
  • Pick a safe route and time to walk your pet
  • Don't exercise/walk pet alone
  • Change your veterinarian

*Sources: The People's Law of Maryland, Ahimsa House

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