October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Join the Purple Leash Project during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to recognize the critical lack of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters. With your support, we can help people and pets safely escape abuse - and heal - together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about our programs, donations and general information. Use the dropdown menu to select a category or enter keywords in the search bar. If you have a question that you don’t see here, please email us at info@RedRover.org. For Kind News magazine FAQs, please click here.

  • The cost of boarding will vary depending on the boarding facility. We recommend speaking with multiple boarding facilities in your area to find the one(s) willing to provide great care at a low price. You may want to consider making boarding agreements with multiple boarding facilities to ensure that no one facility is overwhelmed. RedRover has found that the average cost of boarding is around $15/day. You may be able to ensure lower-cost boarding by counting a discounted boarding cost to be considered an in-kind donation.

  • Yes, the grant can be used to pay for vaccinations the animal needs in order to be boarded. You will need to include a veterinary estimate for an office visit and vaccinations with your application.

  • You are welcome to include these costs in your program budget, but we cannot guarantee that these costs will be funded. You may be able to find veterinarians in your area willing to provide no-cost or low-cost care to your clients. Also, you can apply your shelter’s funds or fundraise from the community to have these costs covered.

  • While the Startup grant funds cannot be used for transportation costs, that doesn’t mean that your program cannot include them. You may be able to find volunteers willing to help with transport from a safe/neutral location. Also, you can apply your shelter’s funds or fundraise from the community to have these costs covered.

  • In our experience, families escaping abuse will sometimes have more than one animal. You may want to consider making boarding agreements with multiple boarding facilities to ensure that no one facility is overwhelmed.

  • While the Startup grant funds cannot be used for pet deposit costs, that doesn’t mean that your program cannot include them. Depending on the laws in your area, victim compensation funds may be able to help with these costs. Also, you can apply your shelter’s funds or fundraise from the community to have these costs covered.

  • Residents will need to sign a boarding contract and release form when the pets start boarding. It is likely that the boarding facility will already have this type of form. This stipulates that if they do not pick-up, or if they must relinquish their animal, the animal becomes the property of the boarding facility or your shelter. This will allow you and/or your partner animal protection organization to place the pet(s) for adoption, rescue or other disposition. 

  • Yes, you should have a written agreement between your shelter and the boarding facility.  

  • If you have an idea for a different pet housing model, please email Relief@RedRover.org.

  • Excerpt taken from Sheltering Animals and Families Together manual, 2015 edition.

    When a resident’s permitted stay at your shelter has ended, or when the resident is ready to leave, the goal is to have the resident find long-term, safe housing. Since some shelters provide long-term or transitional housing assistance, your shelter should also identify available pet-friendly housing so that outgoing residents can continue to be with and care for their pets. Developing a list of potential pet-friendly housing options in the community is an excellent partnering opportunity for shelters and animal protection organizations. Or check out http://www.myapartmentmap.com/pet_friendly/.

     

    If there is cause, helping your clients to get their animal prescribed as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) can help with housing. ESA are covered under the Fair Housing Act, though they do not have all the same protections as Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here is a website with information on ESA. While they do offer a fee based service, they do have a lot of useful information available without having to apply for an ESA letter. If you do not have a therapist able to prescribe an ESA, they have therapists who review applications and will write an ESA letter if they believe that the applicant’s situation qualifies. If not, the fee is refunded.

     

    Situations may arise where a resident returns to an abusive partner. Given that children and pets may be returned to an environment known to be abusive, your shelter should follow existing protocols in this regard. Some protocols or state laws may call for notifying child protective services that a child may be returning to a dangerous home. If that is the case, then local animal protection agencies should be notified if a pet is being returned to an abusive home. An option to consider is asking the resident if she will sign over ownership of the pet to your  program, which then allows you place the pet with your partner animal protection organization for placement in a new home. Seek guidance from your animal protection partner in this regard. 

  • The Startup grant is intended to be a springboard to help your domestic violence shelter launch your own boarding program. During the time your program is funded by our grant you will be expected to be working on funding and fundraising solutions to ensure that the boarding program continues after our funding has been exhausted. You will be required to demonstrate your plans for program sustainability in the grant application.

  • Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and Service Animals are covered under the Fair Housing Act, so they should pose no barrier to finding housing.


    Keep in mind that ESA do not have the same protections as Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Only a fully trained animal is considered a Service Animal. Service Animals in training are not protected by the ADA. If your client is disabled they can hire a trainer, or train their own dog, to get their dog to perform a task/tasks to assist them as a Service Animal (only dogs and miniature horses qualify as Service Animals at this time). Here is a resource listing some of the Service Dog tasks for psychiatric disabilities (panic disorder, PTSD, depression, etc.) Here is an FAQ from the US Department of Justice on Service Animals and the ADA.

    In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions:

    1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
    2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? (Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.)

     

    There is no national registry for Service Animals or ESA. Your clients do not have to carry a special card, have their dog wear a vest, or pay a registration fee to have a Service Animal or ESA. If they desire a vest (which can help people to maintain their distance), both Service Animal and ESA vests are available through online retailers like Amazon.

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