(WSVN) - A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at a new pet-friendly women’s shelter in Broward County.

Victims of domestic violence seeking safe shelter will soon be able to bring their pets with them to a unique public shelter launched by the Women in Distress organization and the Humane Society. The new location is the only one in South Florida to welcome animals.

“We’re very proud here, at Women in Distress, to be able to add to our campus and service to survivors of domestic violence, a pet shelter,” CEO and President Mary Riedel said, “and it’s something we’ve long wanted to do because it’s removing yet another barrier to keep families together and keep them safe.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 71 percent of victims with pets said their abusers had injured, killed or threatened the animals for revenge or to psychologically control the women.

The shelter is slated to open in the near future.

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