Many women’s shelters are unable to accommodate pets, which can add another layer of distress to an already challenging situation. Anxiety about a pet can multiply the grief experienced by abused women who leave their spouses.
Allie Phillips, founder of Sheltering Animals and Families Together (or “SAF-T”) program reports, “When domestic violence victims with pets consider fleeing abusive homes and there is no safe place to house their pets, they have little choice but: 1) to remain in their homes and subject themselves, their children and their pets to continued violence, 2) to flee with children and pets and become homeless or 3) to flee and leave their pets behind. Because victims of domestic violence understand the extent of harm that their abusers will likely inflict upon their pets if left behind, many victims simply remain in violent relationships.”
Red Rover’s Safe Housing program enables families to take their pets with them when they leave their abusers by ensuring family violence shelters have the resources they need to accommodate companion animals. The increased numbers of family violence shelters that have the ability to house pets brings Red Rover’s Safe Housing program closer to its goals: to establish at least one pet-friendly family violence shelter in every state in the country by 2015. Currently, 30 states have at least one domestic violence shelter that offers pet-friendly safe housing.
RED ROVER Domestic Violence Safe Escape Grants
Red Rover offers financial assistance for victims of domestic violence and their pets through our Safe Escape grant program. The goal of the program is to help families with pets safely escape domestic violence together. Grants may be provided for temporary boarding and veterinary care.
Grant applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Grants, up to $500, are awarded based upon several factors, including: urgency, financial need and available funding. Once an application is submitted online by a case worker, a response via e-mail or by phone will be provided within one to two business days.
Please note: For safety reasons, applications must be submitted by a case worker or domestic violence shelter representative.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and need immediate assistance:
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.7233.
- View a directory of family violence shelters that have resources for pets: SafePlaceforPets.org