Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced a new Nassau SPCA program that offers free pet protection to victims of domestic violence who have fled to The Safe Center L.I.
County Executive Mangano was joined by New York State Assemblyman Dave McDonough; Dr. John Imhof, Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Social Services and Chairman of the County’s Task Force on Family Violence; Bob Sowers, President of the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Sandy Oliva and Cynthia Scott, Executive Directors of The Safe Center LI; and Gary Rogers, Nassau County’s Animal Emergency Coordinator and SPCA member; and Leigh Buchman, Safe Center Crisis Center Coordinator.
“Domestic violence victims are often reluctant to seek shelter because they don’t want to leave their pets behind in an unsafe environment,” said County Executive Mangano. “The SPCA and The Safe Center are partnering to help victims by assuring them that their pets will be well-cared for by the SPCA at no cost to the victim or taxpayers.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
o Up to 40% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.
o 71% of pet owners entering domestic violence shelters report that their batterer has threatened injured, or killed family pets.
o One study found that 87% of batterer-perpetrated incidents of pet abuse are committed in the presence of their partners for the purpose of revenge or control.
o Victims of domestic violence have been known to live in their cars for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house or shelter.
Domestic violence victims can call The Safe Center Hotline at (516) 542-0404 for assistance regarding safety planning and shelter. The Nassau County SPCA will visit The Safe Center L.I. to pick up the pet(s) and bring them to a private facility for housing and veterinarian care.