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Vets for Pets and People

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.

Warning Signs

  • 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.

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