Resources for Helping Dogs and Their People Escape Domestic Abuse
Whether you’re a victim of domestic abuse who needs to escape with a dog or suspect that someone you know is, you might feel paralyzed by the thought that there’s nowhere to turn. There is.
And knowing what to do can make all the difference for victims of domestic abuse who are reluctant to leave because of fears for their pet’s safety.
For starters, the nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund suggests contacting your local sheriff or police by dialing 911 if you witness animal cruelty. You can also contact your local humane society, animal control officer, or SPCA.
In addition, there are a number of other resources available for those reluctant to leave an abusive situation due to their fear of leaving behind a pet or leaving one in a shelter.
Animal Welfare Institute’s Animals and Family Violence resource
The Animal Welfare Institute actively pursues partnerships with other organizations to offer resources, programs, and policies that address the important relationship between animal cruelty and family violence.
Animal Welfare Institute’s Safe Havens Mapping Project
By putting in your zip code, you can find entities near you that provide sheltering services for companion animals of domestic violence victims, have a relationship with an entity that does, or provide referrals to such facilities.
Red Rover‘s Domestic Violence Safe Escape Grant program
RedRover offers financial assistance for victims of domestic violence and their pets through its Safe Escape grant program. The goal of the program is to help families with pets safely escape domestic violence together. Funding is mainly provided to help with the cost of temporary pet boarding while a client is in a domestic violence shelter, though other costs, like urgent veterinary care, can be considered.
Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV)
This all-volunteer organization plays a unique role by recognizing the importance of animals as vital family members and arranging for their safe harbor at a time of critical need—when a domestic abuse victim seeks refuge from an abuser.
State-by-State Safe Havens List from Ahimsa House
“Because choosing safety shouldn’t mean leaving a family member behind,” Atlanta-based Ahimsa House offers a list of programs throughout the country for victims of domestic violence looking for help for themselves and their pets.
Sheltering Animals and Families Together
Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T)™ is a global initiative guiding domestic violence shelters on how to house families together with their pets. The organization “recognizes the human-animal bond and that family pets can provide comfort, reassurance and healing to adult and child survivors.”