PHILLIPS - Many times, a cat or dog in the home makes domestic violence situations even more complicated. The abuser may hurt the animal, or the victim might be reluctant to get out of the home while leaving the animal behind.
TimeOut of Price County serves victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Its workers hear story after story of innocent pets being involved in abusive situations.
"(Victims say,) 'I see this happening to my pet constantly. My abuser has a bad day or we get into an argument and they take it out on my pet. I fear for my safety, I fear for my pet's safety,'" said Becky Steinbach, a Sexual Assault Program Coordinator at TimeOut in Phillips.