MADISON, Wis. - I have said it many times before: "You don't know what goes on behind closed doors and you don't know what's behind the smile you see on someone's face."
I'm amazed at how that can hold true in a variety of situations -- situations that you and I may never know about, and may never even think about. So let's talk about it: Abuse. People and animals get abused. One time is too many.
Often frozen by fear, a high percentage of abuse victims -- 48 percent to be exact --delay leaving their abuser, their situation, because they had no safe place for their animals.
Think about this: How many people stay and don't leave?
The bond between an animal and their "person" is truly unbreakable. The connection is often difficult to put into words.
So leave it up to two young University of Wisconsin-Madison law students, in 2001, to find a way to Do Something Good and create change and movement for victims of abuse and their animals.
Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims reduces barriers to safety by providing victims with temporary, safe and confidential shelter for their animals for up to 90 days in the SAAV program.
The ultimate goal is to enable victims to leave their abusive situation, get the help they need without worrying about their special animal, and eventually, reuniting with their pet in a better place, both literally and figuratively.
Watch their story and find out why taking care of everyone in an abusive situation -- human and animal -- is crucial for survival.
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