by Elisa Black-Taylor
Domestic abuse and pets is a subject that really flares my temper. I’ve lived through it. I’ve watched friends go through it. And I can tell you it’s a horrible feeling when you want out of a toxic relationship but can’t find a safe place where a beloved pet would be welcome.
Finally the laws are changing to help women in domestic abuse situations get out and take their pets with them. The Animal Welfare Institute has compiled this partial list of women’s shelters where pets are welcome.
href=”http://www.awionline.org/ht/d/sp/i/37272/pid/37272 – link broken. Since it’s in Excel format, please read down on the article under “where are they” and click on the words “click here.”
Ahimsa House also has a list of safe havens for domestic abuse victims. Their link it here. This site even has a fast escape button in case you need to leave the site quickly. This organization understands just how dangerous looking for help on the internet can be to an abused woman looking for a way out with her pet.
There are currently three states (at least) who now allow pets to be included in restraining orders. New York, Maine and Vermont now make it a crime for an abuser to have contact with the abuse victims pet. Some areas carry a fine and others are punishable by jail time.
I’m not much of a believer in restraining orders or orders of protection. If the abuser knows where the victim lives, sometimes NOTHING will stop him from harassment or violence. The police can’t be everywhere at once and there’s a good chance they’d be too late in a domestic violence situation. PLEASE go to a safe haven where you can’t be found!
The story that sparked this article just came in on my news feed tonight and it got me to thinking. A woman was abused by her man, who also threatened to abuse her roommates. The entire story can be found here. It happened on Sunday, June 26 in Gainsville, Florida. Tamarcus Lamont Harper, 20, has been charged with animal cruelty resulting in death, kidnapping, obstructing justice, resisting arrest, and three counts of battery.
Harper is pure evil, and there are many men out there just like him. It all started with an argument that morning. The girlfriend asked him to leave. When he returned half an hour later he kicked the door in. He then grabbed the woman (he’d been dating for a few years) by her heels in her own home and swung her around. He threatened to hurt everyone in the home if the police were called. This poor woman went to work and when she came home after lunch she learned Harper had physically assaulted the roommates. He was still there at the apartment
Harper then broke the feeding bowl of an 8 week old kitten. After that he kicked the kitten in front of the girlfriend and she watched in horror as the kitten died within a minute. He was eventually caught by police after the women escaped the apartment and called 911. He threw down a pink towel during a foot chase that ended in his arrest. The dead kitten was wrapped in the towel.
What really gets me is this man had the nerve to ask the arresting officer if he could go to jail for murdering a cat.
I’ll tell everyone what I’d like to see happen to this man. I don’t know how many of the readers have heard of Rescue Ink. Google them if you’ve never read up on these men. I’d LOVE for this tough rescue group to get ahold of Harper for just one hour. Actually, fifteen minutes would do the trick. I’d love for him to be kicked around the way that poor kitten was.
I lived with an abuser. He didn’t kill cats or dogs. He killed my pet rats. And the police in Anderson where I was raised did NOTHING! They said rats were rodents and didn’t fall under the category of pet. These were hairless rats purchased from a pet store. I got away from this man before he killed me.
The police where I grew up don’t like me. I called them once on a dog who had been doused with kerosene and was about to be set on fire. The police wouldn’t even smell the dog. They thought it was impossible for anyone to be that cruel. They even went so far as to threaten to lock me us for harassing them if I called them back that night. So I took the dog to a safe place in my car. That car smelled of kerosene for several weeks, but at least the dog was saved.
Women, I can tell you two things about abusers. I learned them both from watching talk shows. PLEASE don’t laugh. Every now and then the talk show hosts spout of words of wisdom. First of all, watch how a man treats the women in his family because this is likely how you’ll be treated. And second, don’t make excuses. Don’t say the man will “change.” What really matters is what he’s like in the present. NOT what he promises to be like in the future.
Have any of the readers here been in a similar situation? You don’t have to give your name. Comments on how to spot or escape abuse are particularly welcome. If you know of safe havens that welcome pets, please feel free to leave information in the comments.
Women, get out before it’s too late and take your pet with you. If there’s no information in this article for the area in which you live, just Google Safe Haven for pets and enter your location. Chances are there are groups willing to help you.
P.S. I realize men can be the victim of domestic violence. I’m not trying to single one sex out over the other. Statistics show most abusers are men.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.