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Essexville Public Safety Department Offers Domestic Violence Victims Temporary Shelter for Their Pets

Image via Alysia Burgio TV/Facebook

The Essexville Public Safety Department in Michigan is offering victims of domestic violence a place to temporarily their house pets while they make arrangements to separate themselves from their abuser.

According to NBC 25 News, their decision to open their doors to the pets of domestic violence victims is in response to a startling statistic within a study released by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in 2008. The study showed that one-third of domestic abuse survivors put off seeking help for an average of two years because they worried about the safety and future of their pet.

William Gutzwiller, the director of the Essexville Public Safety Department, explains to NBC 25 News, “The stipulation is as long as the animal is non-aggressive and does not appear to be injured or unhealthy, we can accept the animal without calling animal control.”

The executive director of the Bay Area Women’s Center, Jeremy Rick, says he often deals with domestic violence victims who are reluctant to come forward due to the fear that their abuser will hurt their pet. “We deal with it weekly,” he tells the outlet.

Rick explains he is relieved this program is in place because, “Just getting the message out that they can leave and there will be somewhere for their pet to be safe so call and ask for help,” he tells NBC 25 News.

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