Interesting facts about pet abuse and domestic violence connections

I am not a researcher or statistician. I am an artist and a trauma counselor with some real life experience. And I am a decent web surfer. I have seen enough evidence to convince me how important it is to address animal abuse and domestic violence simultaneously. But to gather information to convince others is a bigger challenge.

Luckily, a number of groups have been working on the issue for quite awhile, and they have amassed an impressive cache of information.

The American Humane Association is one group that has been working on this for many years. I found a treasure trove of information on their site. I hope you will go there and learn more. Here is a sample of information I found on one of their fact sheets:

Did You Know?

  • More American households have pets than have children. We spend more money on pet food than on baby food. There are more dogs in the U.S. than people in most countries in Europe – and more cats than dogs. [13]
  • A child growing up in the U.S. is more likely to have a pet than a live-at-home father. [14]
  • Pets live most frequently in homes with children: 64.1% of homes with children under age 6, and 74.8% of homes with children over age 6, have pets. The woman is the primary caregiver in 72.8% of pet-owning households. [11
  • Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house. [15]

I didn’t know some of that myself. It is somewhat sad and surprising to me that more children have pets than live-at-home fathers. I am glad to know that pets are available to fill emotional needs, but it is also unfortunate that society tends to disregard the importance of the role the pets play when we intervene with those in dangerous situations.

My hope is that Okey’s Promise can help shine more light on the great work that has been going on for some time to reveal this important issue.

As an artist and a counselor, I feel that I have some unique insights and talents that can bring some new attention to the concerns. But I am truly just a small part of Okey’s Promise. Okey’s Promise is a movement and a cause, and it’s biggest asset will be the people who join in and spread the word. YOU are the most important part of Okey’s Promise.

Please share the video, share the message, support with a pledge, or share the message any way that you can. Be one of Okey’s Promise Keepers. Let’s keep Okey’s Promise alive by doing better for society’s children, domestic violence victims, AND creatures.


Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!

#NipClub and other fun for Okey’s Promise!

"Niptini" painting by BZTAT

Thanks to everyone who has pledged their support to the Okey’s Promise: Art for a Cause project! You are all very special, and you are helping Okey and I keep our promise to do better for children and creatures. You are Okey’s Promise Keepers!

We have over 60% of our goal, now, and 8 days to get the remaining 40%. Please share your enthusiasm for the cause with others who you think may wish to become an Okey’s Promise Keeper themselves. And if you haven’t pledged yet but want to, now is the time! Here is the link.

Just to have fun, and to raise some pledges and awareness, we are having two parties for Okey this week.

On this Thursday, January 20, we will have a virtual party on Twitter. The Nip Club, a rowdy crowd of animal tweeters, has invited us to join their weekly “pawty” to raise funds for different animal causes. The theme of the pawty is 80’s Rock Pawty so pull out your best 80’s style gear! We will have quizzes with BZTAT artwork and Romeo the Cat “Rescue Mom” magnets and and other surprises. Follow the hashtags #NipClub and #OkeysPromise to join in.

Also, for folks close to Canton, OH, we will have a real live event on Sunday, January 23. We will have a spaghetti dinner at Arcadia Grille at 321 Court Ave. N.W. in downtown Canton from 1pm to 3pm. Cost: whatever you would like to donate to the cause. There will be a 50/50 and other raffles, again with BZTAT artwork as prizes. Be sure to come and join us for lotsa fun! Learn more and sign up to come here on the Facebook event page.

I look forward to seeing you at these events and to enjoying some fun times while we raise support for Okey’s Promise!

A project like this can’t happen without the great support of others. You as Okey’s Promise Keepers are the passion to make it happen. We will get there!

Above is a little drawing that I recently made of Okey. I can’t wait to paint the BIG picture!


Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!

Helping Pets Also Helps Human Victims of Domestic Violence

In a home that offers little human comfort, and where, instead, there are humans that control other family members through domestic violence, a pet maybe the only source of comfort a victim has.

Leaving the one source of comfort behind with an abuser can prevent human victims of domestic violence from getting help for themselves. Can you blame them?

Few domestic violence shelters offer on site accommodations for pets. There is a growing number of shelters, however, that connect with local animal rescues to find foster homes for pets while a human victim seeks shelter. The video above talks about how important that connection is.

Thanks to my friends Diane and Cosmo for sharing the video with me. I think it really gets the message across. We need to do more to help domestic violence victims seek safety for themselves by offering reassurance that their pets can be safe too.

Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!


Okey’s Promise Keepers: Blog the Change

Blog the ChangeToday is Blog the Change Day promoted by Be the Change for Animals. Blog the Change Day is a special day for pet bloggers to blog about a cause near and dear to their hearts, inspire the involvement of their readership, and share that vision with the BtC community. This event positively impacts animals and advocates one-on-one.

Blog the Change day is obviously a natural fit for Okey’s Promise, as this whole site is dedicated to a cause and vision that is near and dear to my heart. In fact, I have been asked by other bloggers if they could write about Okey’s Promise for their Blog the Change story today.

Be the Change for Animals also posted the Okey’s Promise video on their Facebook page today. I am VERY grateful.

We have raised $1855.00 in pledges through the Kickstarter fund raising page so far. Although it is still a long ways from the $5000.00 needed, I have a strong belief that we will get there. This project HAS TO HAPPEN. It just has to. Why?

Because it has captured the hearts of too many people not to.

That $1855.00 was pledged by everyday people who care and want to see it happen. Their numbers are growing, as each one pledges in whatever amount they can afford to share. They, and all those who have helped to get the message out, are every much a part of this project as I am.

Okey’s Promise Keepers care about animals. They care about children. They care about making our communities safer for both animals and children. And they recognize the power of art to do just that.

As my good friend Yvonne DiVita said it on her blog Lipsticking today,

Art for a cause exists because people feel art in their heart and soul. It speaks in a language that has no words, needs no words, is only the touch and sense of what you feel. When you are exposed to a painting or performance that vibrates through your whole being, introducing you to colors and sounds and thoughts that you did not know you were capable of thinking, you become one with the art. There is no other way to describe it. The colors are unique to the art. The understanding is unique to the person. The purpose is all encompassing. In this instance, it’s – save the children and the pets, and we save ourselves.

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can use art to make a promise: to do better for our communities’ children AND their creatures.

Will you join me and the rest of Okey’s Promise Keepers in keeping that promise?

Okey and I thank all those who have joined the cause.


Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!

Please visit all the other Blog the Change blogs!

Public art to make our world a better place for all creatures great and small.