Criminal domestic violence and pet safety is a subject I can personally relate to. 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.
Today I’d like to give an example on just how deadly a domestic violence situation can become for a pet and offer advice for those in a similar situation.
Ahimsa House also has a list of safe havens for domestic abuse victims 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.
New York, Maine and Vermont now make it a crime for an abuser to have contact with the abuse victims pet and abusers can be kept away from pets using a restraining order. 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 awhile back and is a perfect example of how much cruelty a pet may have to endure during a volitile situation. 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. He returned half an hour later and 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 and then 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 and was still there in her 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!
This case is only one example of what’s become a nationwide epidemic. Greenville, SC is a growing metropolitan area, but this type of abuse is increasing everywhere. My advice to women is to 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. You and your pet don’t have to suffer abuse at the hands of a monster like Lamont Harper.
For those of you in the Greenville, SC area, some places to check are Safe Harbor which serves Greenville, Anderson, Pickens and Oconee Counties and Laurens County SAFE Home. Both offer assistance in saving not only your life but also the life of your pet.