Helping pets and people rebuild together...
The Safe House for Pets Program has been created by Second Chance Animal Rescue Inc. to provide temporary care for at risk animals whose owners are facing enormous challenges as victim survivors of domestic violence. These owners and their pets have endured a lot of hardship and their bond runs deep. We are committed to making sure that no pet owner in our community is set back along their road to recovery because of a pet they refuse to abandon.
Most human shelters do not provide care for client’s pets and a large number of pet owners refuse to leave without their animals for fear of their animal’s life, so this program assists them by providing temporary shelter for their companion animals and offers practical solutions for pet owners leaving situations of domestic violence.
We safely house and care for their pets, allowing them time to find safe refuge for themselves; with the aim of reuniting them with their beloved pet as soon as possible.
With the Safe House for Pets Program, an often significant barrier is removed when choosing to leave a violent home; that being the fear and worry about the safety of their pets. We care for their pet(s) until the victim survivor is stabilised and safe. For survivors who are unable to find a trusted family member, friend, or co-worker, to care for their pet(s), this program can literally save lives.
Substantial evidence exists worldwide documenting the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. This includes recognition of the fact that:
- Pet abuse often occurs before and during human abuse in domestic violence situations.
- A major reason for the abuse of pets by perpetrators is to control women and children.
- It is common practice for the perpetrator of domestic violence to lure family members back home, or prevent them from leaving, by threatening to harm the pet.
- Pets are often injured and sometimes killed when living in human domestic violence situations.
- Family pets provide positive relationships for women and children helping to improve their physical and emotional well being.
In response to this evidence, SCAR has established the Safe House for Pets Program.
Key objectives of our program are:
- Develop effective collaborative working relationships with local human organisations responding to domestic and family violence in Victoria.
- Create information resources for people escaping domestic violence and domestic violence workers on matters to do with ensuring the safety of pets.
- Explore the potential and, where possible, support initiatives for pets to remain with women and children escaping domestic violence from the outset.
- Advocate for an increase in pet-friendly rental accommodation.
- Provide care and comfort in a time of need and help people recognize that violence against all forms of life needs to be taken seriously.
- Once the victim survivor is re-established in a safe environment, we aim to reunite the owners with their pet(s).
Our SAFE House 4 Pets program recognises that safety is paramount in these situations; precautions are taken to ensure the safety of not only the pets, but also of the clients themselves. Animals in our care for emergency boarding purposes are not kept onsite in our shelter facility, instead stay with foster care volunteers who are specifically trained to assist with this program.
Each situation is assessed on a case by case basis to ensure that we can offer the assistance required or refer them on to a more suitable provider.
The SAFE House 4 Pets Program is not a long-term solution to the housing of the pet, but it gives domestic violence victim-survivors peace of mind and allows them to secure their own safety and make arrangements for the future.
Contact details for more help and support
If you are in a domestic violence situation and are seeking assistance, call 1800 RESPECT(1800 737 732) or 1800 800 098 or chat online via the web https://www.1800respect.org.au.
In an emergency or if you are in danger, call 000.
To find out more about our SAFE House 4 Pets program or to reach out for assistance please email us at email@example.com or phone us at 03) 9357 0834.
If you would like to donate towards this life-saving program please click the button below!
In the Media:
Herald Sun - 21st April 2022
In the Media:
Herald Sun - 29 November 2021