Stop Abuse & Violence Effort (SAVE)

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and in immediate danger, please call 911. If you are not in immediate danger but need assistance, please call 703-777-1021. Law Enforcement Officers can submit a Domestic Violence-Animal Abuse inquiry online.

About the Program

The S.A.V.E program was developed by Loudoun County Animal Services to facilitate the community’s recognition and understanding of the dynamic connection between animal abuse and the cycle of family and societal violence. Our goal is to combat violence in the home through a multi-discipline approach to ensuring the safety of humans and animals alike by focusing on the important role animals play, not only as victims but also therapeutic mediums teaching empathy and providing familial stability.

How Animal Services Helps

  • Humane Education
  • Communication using collaborative relationships with other County Departments
  • Resources for pet owners through C.A.R.E. and the Loudoun Pet Pantry
  • Temporary housing through the Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter
  • Behavior, Adoption, Surrender Counseling for Animals
  • Legal Action

Facts About The Link Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence

  • Investigations of animal abuse is often the first point of intervention for a family experiencing domestic violence.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
  • Of those that make it to women’s shelters, 84% report that their abusers also hurt their animals.
  • According to a National Coalition Against Domestic Violence study 63.0% of children reported incidents of pet abuse after arriving at domestic violence shelters.
  • Of 236 people arrested for cruelty to animals:
    • 55% also arrested for non-animal-related felonies
    • 81% have 2 or more crimes in their history
    • 69% also arrested for battery
    • 41% are confirmed gang members (Chicago Court Advocacy Study, 2009-2012)
  • There is a direct link between childhood animal cruelty and aggressive and violent interpersonal behavior in adulthood. (Ascione, 1992, 2001)

Resources for Law Enforcement Officers

Submit a Domestic Violence-Animal Abuse inquiry online. Once your inquiry has been submitted, it will be reviewed by an Animal Control Officer who will promptly address any noted concerns and begin investigating, as appropriate. If you have any further questions or would like to speak with an Animal Control Officer, please call 703-777-0406.

Additional Resources

  • Members of the Loudoun County Animal Services' (LCAS) Animal Control team provide SAVE presentations to interested members of the community. Please contact LCAS at 703-777-0406 to schedule a presentation or to speak to a member of the SAVE team.
  • The National Link Coalition provides educational resources and information about The LINK between animal abuse and violence.
  • If you are in need of emergency housing assistance due to domestic violence in your home, there are shelters equipped to accept families of domestic violence along with their pets. You can find a list of SAF-T™ shelters online.
  • The Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter (LAWS) provides temporary emergency shelter for physically, emotionally, or sexually abused women and their children. LCAS supports LAWS in its mission by providing temporary housing of pets during a family’s time of crisis.
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