Research conducted across North America demonstrates there is a clear link between animal abuse and other forms of family violence. Where there is an abuser in a household both people and animals are at risk.
According to a 2012 Alberta SPCA study (PDF), 59 per cent of women delayed leaving an abusive relationship out of concern for their pets or farm animals; more than a third cited that their animals were threatened by the abuser and 85 per cent carried out those threats.
Further, children who witness animal or spousal abuse are three times more likely to grow up to be abusers themselves, in what is called the cycle of violence.
Please visit our Professional Resources section for more information on prevention and intervention.