Seventy-one percent of pets admitted to domestic violence shelters report that their abusers threaten injured, killed, or family pets for abuse or psychological control.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and provides an opportunity to help raise awareness about the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Forty-eight percent of domestic violence survivors reported delays in releasing their abusers because they feared what would happen to their pets.
Many people have never considered the relationship between domestic violence and animal abuse. Abusers can target pets:
- Maintain terror or fear.
- Gain more power and control.
- Eliminate the source of help and comfort.
- Force the survivor / family to return home.
Some survivors have reported staying in their cars instead of leaving their pets behind, but when they are able to leave, only 15% of domestic violence shelters can accommodate pets online. Are
There is a solution. Empowering more domestic violence shelters can create pet-friendly spaces so that more survivors and their pets can run away from their abusers and recover together.
There are many benefits to creating a pet housing program. Providing this service to families eliminates safety barriers, protects survivors and pets, strengthens human-animal bonds, and facilitates healing.
Shelters considering a pet housing program have a variety of pet plans, including sheltering a pet in an individual room, relocating an existing location, creating a new location, and more.
Onsite pet spaces may include:
- LVT flooring, with foam baking for noise reduction and interlocking design.
Which forms a waterproof barrier.
- FRP wall board for surface cleaning.
- Pet cages in individual rooms.
- Indoor kennels with dog doors that fence in support areas.
- Exterior kennels with adequate shade and protection from the elements.
- Enrichment for cats, such as shelving high, cubes, scratching posts, wall.
Bridges, window swings, toys and catwalks.
- Enrichment for dogs, such as outdoor fenced playgrounds, agility measures, tire tunnels,
Benches for interacting with toys, survivors, their pets, and pet trade mills.
- Living room / visiting room, which provides a place for pets and their people to relax.
And develop your relationship with each other.
Creating a pet housing program is made easier by RedRover’s Secure Housing Grants. Domestic Violence Shelters and Animal Shelters can apply for a grant of up to $ 60,000 to create a place for living pets. In addition, Safe Escape Grants are available for boarding and weight care while a Domestic Violence Survivor is in a shelter that cannot accommodate pets.
There are several ways you can help raise awareness of this issue.
Raise your voice and spread the word. Advise your neighbors with pets what can happen.
Fight abuse by raising awareness of the lack of pet-friendly options.
Visit Domestic Violence Survivors. RedRover.org/dvhelp To keep track of all the ways.
Ask your local Domestic Violence Shelter how you can help. Visit your local Domestic Violence Shelter to find out how you can help care for survivors. Find out if your local shelter accepts pets or is interested in resources to be pet friendly. If so, let them know about RedRover grants.
Survivors of a Domestic Violence Shelter may have a variety of needs, from volunteers to donations of clothing, diapers, toys and other comforts for people, pets.
Visit Dontforgetthepets.org Learn how to build an effective, sustainable pet home.
Program for people in need and pets through this phased program.
Nicole Farsith is President and CEO. Redrover, A non-profit organization focused on rescuing animals from crisis and strengthening human-animal relationships through emergency shelters, disaster relief services, funding and education. She writes for the Bay Area News Group on pet love. Send questions to [email protected].