Benefits of Pets for Kids – The Essential Guide

Article originally posted on Direct Line written by Michael Morris   We’ve had a love for pets ever since early man first trained wolves to obey commands. You won’t find many wolves in family homes today, but dogs, cats, birds, hamsters and rabbits are commonplace. Unsurprisingly, young children are particularly fond of having their own pet. This guide will look at the impact pets have on children, what it takes to own a pet, and will demonstrate how a pet is a healthy addition to any child’s upbringing 1. Pets in a Family Home The most recent statistics suggest there are as many as 19 million pets in UK households (excluding fish) – across 40% of the nation’s properties. That number alone highlights the love we have for pets. Let’s take a closer look at the impact … Read More

Game Change: The Anti-Violence Partnership

The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership

What is Game Change? Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership is an educative alliance between Northeastern University, the New England Patriots and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO), whose goal is to foster long-term anti-violence and healthy relationship education with the focus of developing student leaders to train their peers.   Game Change is a multi-phased initiative funded by owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, and The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, as well as the AGO. The training encourages facilitated conversations about issues like relationship abuse, consent, and respectful communication. Phase One began in 2015 with the selection of 30 high schools across the state to partner with a local domestic and sexual violence prevention organization. Through these partnerships, organizations were able to educate school staff, coaches, and parents, and to be an … Read More

Massachusetts White Ribbon Day 2018


Since 1991 men have joined in the fight against domestic violence by wearing white ribbons to show their solidarity with the cause. This action is due to the efforts of White Ribbon, a global campaign designed to “inspire changes in policy, practice and culture to address the root causes of gender-based violence” (White Ribbon). The White Ribbon campaign is asking men to be part of the solution to domestic violence rather than part of the problem. In Massachusetts, White Ribbon is partnering with Jane Doe Inc. (JDI), a state-wide membership coalition and advocacy group working to change “the way society views and reacts to sexual and domestic violence in ways that make our communities safer today and for future generations” (Jane Doe Inc). Jane Doe Inc. began Massachusetts White Ribbon Day in 2008 as one … Read More

Understanding Animal Organizations: Shelters, Humane Societies, and Sanctuaries

If you search the Internet for pet adoptions or volunteer opportunities, you may get overwhelmed: shelters, rescue leagues, humane societies, sanctuaries, refuges. They seem interchangeable (and some do use them interchangeably), but each provides different services. Some of the services overlap, but all animal organizations missions align to prioritize animal health and safety. Regardless of the organization, do your research before adopting, donating, or volunteering. Ask local veterinarians, groomers, and walkers about them. If you can’t get information about the organization from trusted local sources, it’s probably best to avoid it. Animal Shelters The word “shelter” brings to mind dogs confined to cages and cats piled into a small space. But a shelter is simply a government-owned facility that takes in and cares for homeless animals. Depending on the town income and funding assignments, they … Read More

Grey’s Anatomy Tackles Domestic Violence

After fourteen seasons of heart-wrenching tragedies and jaw-dropping miracles, there exists a very short list of topics untouched by ABC and Shondaland’s Grey’s Anatomy. Yet, in all that time, no episode has been more timely than the mid season premiere, “1-800-799-7233,” for its unsettling representation of intimate partner violence. For those less familiar with the lives of the doctors at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital, we’ll spare you the drama and give you the must-know details. Loyal viewers knew to expect an unsettling meeting between Dr. Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) and her abusive husband Paul Stadler (Matthew Morrison) since the violent man’s curveball entrance closed out the 2017 winter finale. It is then we were reminded Paul beat Jo over the most minuscule of occurrences, bruising her face and stomach. When the abuse finally became too much … Read More

Companion Animals: Can pets help improve your mental and physical health?

companion animals

When I get home from a long stressful day at work I am greeted at the door by two cats who are extremely happy to see me. When I have an anxiety attack my cat is purring by my side, licking my hand until I calm down. It’s no secret that our pets make us happy even on our worst days but researchers have concluded that companion animals are in fact good for our health. This is why we see animals on college campuses during finals, in hospitals and even in prisons. Research shows that the presence of a companion animal has health benefits including improvements in mental, social, and physiologic health. In regards to mental health, owning a cat or dog brings routine based on their care needs which can often help people with … Read More

PetsEmpower 2018 Pet Art Show: Accepting Submissions

PetsEmpower proudly presents a pet art show this spring in Boston! Pet parents and their companions in Boston (and anywhere else!) have deep emotional ties. We’d love to connect with artists of all types and experience levels for submissions depicting this very special relationship. Artists will be publicized and invited to the opening. Please email or call 617 386 6192 to learn more. Join our mailing list to be sure you get details on the pet show and other news from PetsEmpower. Someone in crisis who is courageously overcoming challenges shouldn’t have to worry about keeping their pet. PetsEmpower works with domestic violence survivors, veterans, addicts and others to arrange temporary pet fostering.

The Silencing of Immigrant Domestic Violence Vicitms

Immigrant women are often at higher risk for domestic violence than other women in America. This is due to the fact that there are often huge differences in cultural norms when it comes to the treatment of women. Many of the cultures that these women come from view domestic abuse as the norm. This often leads immigrant women to be afraid to speak out about their abuse, as their cultural norm is one of silence in the face of mistreatment. Even if an immigrant woman is bold enough to speak out, there is often a lack of access between herself and any sort of help. Immigrant women are often not even aware of their rights within the American legal system. This is largely the result of something as simple as a language barrier. There are … Read More

What You Need to Know About Canine Influenza

While we battle one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory, it’s important to remember that there is a variation that affects dogs and cats. Most dog owners are familiar with kennel cough but don’t think about canine influenza, which shares some of the same symptoms. Dog flu isn’t as severe (kennel cough is often a combination of different viruses or bacteria), but it can be debilitating and some cases lead to pneumonia. Prevention There isn’t a season for dog flu. Since its discovery in 2015, it has appeared all over the U.S. at different times of the year. Dogs transmit it to each other through their breath and saliva. Because it’s a virus, it can stick to objects for up to two days, which means humans and other pets can transmit it. Dogs … Read More

DACA Debates: What’s Happening and How You Can Help

President Donald Trump appeared to have changed his tune last week regarding immigration reform. In a bipartisan meeting with legislators on immigration reform at the White House last week, Trump made claims expressing a desire to enact bipartisan immigration reform, which he called a “bill of love”. This bill would serve to both secure the border and resolve the fate of young unauthorized immigrants whose temporary protection from deportation is expiring. Those impacted by deportation can face similar crisis situations to domestic violence victims, leaving them with no other option than to leave family, and pets, behind. But is this the new Trump, or just a facade?   The New York Times covered the meeting last Tuesday in which President Trump “appeared open to negotiating a sweeping immigration deal that would eventually grant millions of undocumented … Read More