Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Domestic Violence and Pets

"Dr. Kate Knutson is a vet. She naturally adores animals. Her vet clinic Web site boasts that she has "several four-legged children." Yet, she doesn't need a primer on two-legged domestic violence. Growing up in a rural, desolate and isolated patch of South Dakota, Knutson knows firsthand the abusive and violent relationships that played out among extended family members. But even she was unprepared for the surprise lesson that came with the mutilated cat brought to her as a fourth-year student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

A 12-year-old boy sadistically wrapped rubber bands so tight around the family cat's front legs that there was no other recourse but to amputate in order to save the animal's life."I learned that the child's mother was in an abusive relationship," recalled Knutson, founder and co-partner of Pet Crossing, an animal clinic in Bloomington. "I realized that what was happening inside that home had an impact on the child, who in turn had a violent impact on the family pet."" By Ruben Rosario, Link to Article (last visited 4-19-06 NVS)

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