Domestic violence victims put themselves at risk to protect pets

Published Wednesday, 28 February, 2018 at 11:15 AM

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

Some victims of domestic violence have remained in dangerous situations because they are worried about the safety of their pets if they leave.

Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the Pets in Crisis service had provided safe haven for dozens of pets of DV victims, allowing their owners to find safety.

“The Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland identified that victims may delay leaving abusive and violent situations due to animal welfare concerns. If they can’t take their pets with them, some chose to stay in violent relationships.

“Knowing that their pets have a safe place to go removes a barrier to leaving home. This helps break the cycle of violence.”

DVConnect provides the Pets in Crisis program including a critical partnership with RSPCA Qld to provide a place of safety for pets when a victim of violence needs to leave home.

“The DVConnect/RSPCA Pets in Crisis program is an essential service that contributes to saving the lives of victims as well as their pets,” Ms Farmer said.

“We know that pets can be harmed or threatened with harm when perpetrators of domestic violence use them as another way to control or intimidate victims.”

Queenslanders can get involved by applying to the RSPCA to be an animal foster carer. They can also donate to this life saving service. For more information on how to financially support the service email

In the past six months, the RSPCA has accepted 83 animals into the foster care service and provided 2710 days of care for these pets. The average length of stay for pets in the foster care service is 30 days.

In the same time, DVConnect has transported and paid for other associated costs to help an additional 32 women get their pets to safety.

“The need for the Pets in Crisis program keeps growing,” Ms Farmer said. “This is a sad reality. The program helps hundreds of animals each year.”

Ms Farmer said domestic violence shelters accepting animals at risk from domestic and family violence operate now in Brisbane, Townsville, and Charters Towers, with a similar facility soon to open in Roma.

“Two new shelters for South East Queensland announced in the 2017-18 State Budget will also house companion animals. The Queensland Government also is working hard to make existing shelters pet-friendly over time as opportunities arise,” Ms Farmer said.

The Queensland Government has provided $100,000 to RSPCA Queensland to continue providing the much-needed Pets in Crisis service.

For more information on the Queensland Government’s actions to tackle domestic and family violence visit (


Media Contact:                                  Ron Goodman            0427 781 920