January 13, 2015 – RedRover©, a national nonprofit organization based in Sacramento, California, has distributed a total of $39,000 in grant funds to 11 domestic violence shelters throughout the United States so the shelters can create pet-friendly lodging to house victims’ pets. RedRover was able to increase the amount awarded to domestic violence shelters in 2014, thanks in part to a generous grant issued by the Trustees of the William H. Donner Foundation.
RedRover’s Safe Housing program provides essential funding to domestic violence shelters to enable them to create on-site space to house pets. The following shelters received Safe Housing grant awards in 2014:
Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse, Inc. will be the first domestic violence shelter in Illinois to house pets under the SAF-T program. Through RedRover’s efforts, shelters in Maryland and Oklahoma have also been provided with grants to create the first SAF-T certified pet-housing domestic violence shelters in their respective states.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 70 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their batterer had injured, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or psychological control. As many as 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets when they leave. According to Sheltering Animals and Families Together (SAF-T), a national initiative that guides family violence shelters on how to welcome families with pets, only a fraction of the 2,500 domestic violence shelters in the United States report having the ability to house animals onsite.
“When a victim of domestic violence believes that there is nowhere safe for them to escape to with their pets, they may stay in the abusive relationship out of fear for their pets’ safety,” said Nicole Forsyth, RedRover President and CEO. “Their pets are often also victims of abuse, suffering from injuries and neglect. RedRover’s Safe Housing grants make it possible for victims to receive lifesaving sheltering services, reassured that their pets are protected.”
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure no family members are left behind – including those with fur,” says Megan Duesterhaus, Executive Director of Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse, Inc. “Without RedRover’s help, we couldn’t continue this important work.”
RedRover’s Safe Housing grant awards were also made possible in part by a $6,000 grant from A Guardian Angel Foundation.
Founded in 1987, the mission of RedRover is to bring animals out of crisis and strengthen the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. RedRover accomplishes its mission by engaging volunteers and supporters, collaborating with others and maximizing the use of online technology. Learn more at RedRover.org.
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