What Can We Do As Veterinarians?
In the Exam Room
- Compare the animal’s injuries with the history given by the owner.
- Ask about the owner’s experiences with disciplining and housebreaking.
- Listen to the children’s responses to questions about their pet.
- Ask about other pets and their condition.
- Observe the interaction of family members.
- Animals with chronic untreated injuries or medical conditions.
- Clients who use the services of several veterinarians.
- Repeat clients who repeatedly bring "new" puppies.
- Injuries attributed to unknown causes (accidental injuries are frequently admitted while intentional injuries are blamed on unknown causes).
How to Help
- Let clients know you are aware of the link between domestic violence and animal abuse.
- Provide brochures regarding local services for victims of domestic violence.
- On your client information forms, ask your client if their pets are safe at home.
- Support your community by providing refuge for the animals belonging to victims of domestic violence.