MSPCA-Angell Headquarters

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7400
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Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
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Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
For on-site assistance (check-ins and pick-ups):
(339) 970-0790
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Angell at Nashoba – Low-Cost Wellness Care

100 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886
(978) 577-5992
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
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Pets and Violence

About the Link

Professors Arnold Arluke and Jack Levin of Northeastern University and Carter Luke of the MSPCA conducted the study which is the first to examine the relationship between violence against animals and crime in general. In the study, a number of cruelty cases prosecuted by the MSPCA between 1975 and 1996 were reviewed. Results indicate that 70 percent of those who committed crimes against animals had also been involved in other violent, property, drug, and disorderly crimes.

The study also concluded that a person who has committed animal abuse is:

  • 5 times more likely to commit violence against people
  • 4 times more likely to commit property crimes
  • 3 times more likely to be involved in drunken or disorderly offenses

The results of this groundbreaking study established that an animal abuser is more often a potential danger to society and more likely to be involved in other crimes.

Laws and Legislation

The MSPCA has been actively involved in passing legislation that addresses the link; we:

  • Worked on laws to facilitate the cross-reporting between animal and human services agencies.
  • Advocated for a 2012 law that allows pets to be included in temporary protection orders.
  • Facilitated the filing and passage of PAWS II in the Massachusetts 2017-18 legislative session that increases cross-reporting between agencies and adds animal crimes to the list of offenses that serve as the basis for a request for a determination of detention and/or release upon conditions.
  • Supported the Federal PAWS Act, filed by Congresswoman Katherine Clark, that allows individuals to obtain an order of protection for themselves and their companion animals in cases of interstate domestic violence and stalking. It also established an Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program that would provide funding to eligible entities to establish short-term pet shelters and housing assistance. Learn more about the PAWS Act.


As many of 48% of domestic violence victims don’t leave, or delay leaving, a violent situation out of concern for a pet. These programs may be able to help by providing temporary care for a pet.

Link Up Education Network
Safe People Safe Pets Program

Elizabeth Freeman Center
in partnership with Berkshire Humane Society and HAVEN
SafePet Program
413-447-7878 (Berkshire Humane Society)
413-499-2425 (Elizabeth Freeman Center)

Safe Pet program

Holyoke, Mass.

Escape Grants/Red Rover
The Safe Escape grant program helps families with pets safely escape domestic violence together. Funding is mainly provided to help with the cost of temporary pet boarding while a client is in a domestic violence shelter, though other costs associated with boarding (like vaccinations) can be considered.

More information about the Link

Understanding the Link between Violence to Animals and People
Publication of the National District Attorneys Association (.pdf)

The National Link Coalition
Working together to stop violence against people and animals

Join the Animal Action Team to stay up to date on animal issues across the Commonwealth.

Advocacy Puppy