Animal abuse is present in 89 percent of interpersonal violence cases. Many will delay leaving an abuser or not leave at all if they are not able to take their pet with them, often at their own peril or that of their pet. They fear for the pet’s safety, worrying that their partner is going to harm or neglect the pet while they are away.
For many people in abusive situations, their pet is their one source of solace, and they would never consider leaving them behind. The lack of services available for individuals in abusive situations with pets further complicates the matter. There are few options for people who live with violence to keep their pet safe, allow them to leave their situation without the further trauma to their pet, or to leave one behind.
We are developing a crisis foster care program that will provide temporary foster care for pets whose guardians need a safe place for them to live while they access help for themselves to leave their situation. This will reduce the chance that they return to the abuser and maintain the positive impact that a pet has on the emotional well-being of individuals and children without further trauma of losing a pet or leaving one behind. This program also serves the animal welfare sector, by keeping pets out of the shelter system.
The No Pet Left Behind Program received seed funding from the Vancouver Foundation, and the generous donation from John Dexter will ensure that pets coming into the program receive the veterinary care they need. Thanks to John, people fleeing abuse can rest assure that their loved pets are getting the care they need, while they too get the assistance they need to rebuild their lives.
The program also has an exciting job opportunity. The Program Coordinator will work with the Executive Director to develop the program from the ground up. The goal is to have the program running in early spring and will pilot in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
If you are interested in volunteering or becoming a foster, please contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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