Owners will risk anything for their pets, research confirms.

It’s no secret that we all form very strong emotional bonds with our pets. But new research has found that owners will risk anything, even life-threatening situations, to be with them.

The new study, which brought together 27 years of research by international scientists, found that victims of domestic violence in crisis situations face difficulties and risks when separated from their beloved animal. Separation can also lead to feelings of guilt and hurt. The results were published in the journal Anthrozos

“Our findings suggest that strong emotional attachments between people and animals can lead to risk for both in these situations,” said study lead author and PhD candidate Jasmine Montgomery at James Cook University in Australia. is where the bond is at risk”. Conclusions “When people are forced to leave in the context of crisis situations such as natural disasters, homelessness or domestic violence, this can result in psychological distress and threats to their health, and health and safety are indeed at risk.” , the review also confirmed that a common outcome for pets in domestic violence cases was abuse and/or death.”

A stock photo shows an owner hugging his pet dog. Research has found that people are often in vulnerable situations because of their love for their pets.

Svetlana Barchan/Getty

To reach these findings, the scientists examined 42 case studies involving separations between owners and pets due to crisis situations such as domestic violence, homelessness or natural disasters.

They found that in domestic violence situations, victims often delay leaving the situation because of their pets. The study found that owners often choose to stay in abusive relationships longer to protect their pets.

“This is often because there is a lack of shelters or accommodations that can accommodate pets, or a lack of trust in a formal support system that they are not separated from their pets,” Montgomery said. will.” “In cases where pets are threatened, victims may be lured by the perpetrator, which also poses a significant risk to their safety.”

Natural calamities were also studied. Floods, fires and earthquakes are increasing in intensity and frequency, meaning that companion animals are also at risk, as they “depend on their owners to survive and care for them,” the study said. Do it.”

The study found that forced separation is a “troubling situation” during these events.

“In times of housing crisis, natural disasters, or domestic violence, people may be forced to separate from their pets and leave them behind,” the authors wrote. “Forced separation can lead to feelings of intense grief, guilt, and trauma, and decreased psychological functioning.”

The same was the case with the displaced. Researchers discovered that homeless people often suffer from health problems as well as unemployment. They are also exposed and subjected to violence and exploitation. This can lead to the separation of pets because there is a lack of housing that will accommodate the animals. But again, this leads to increased mental anguish and guilt in the owner.

“Often, it is expected that people will choose human interests over animals at all costs, without considering the common bond between humans and animals,” Montgomery said. “We need to start taking our pets and the value of our pets very seriously. And, as a collective in the community, share that responsibility and support pets in these areas of policy development, legislation, service.” Meeting the needs of animals. Provision and housing to help prevent unacceptable outcomes such as animal abuse or death.”

Following these findings, the researchers identified several measures that could be implemented to help the situation.

These include services that help people in domestic violence situations, that are more involved with their pets, and ask questions about them. Regarding natural disasters, the researchers recommended that evacuation plans including plans be put in place. There should also be pet-friendly housing for homeless people, the authors said.

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