October 9, 2013 – The Lake Family Resource Center was recently awarded a RedRover® Relief Safe Housing grant, enabling the Northern California shelter to build on-site housing for pets of domestic violence victims.
RedRover, a national nonprofit organization based in Sacramento, California, provides grants for financial assistance and support for victims of domestic violence through its RedRover Relief program, enabling domestic violence victims to safely escape abusive situations with their pets.
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.
RedRover’s Safe Housing program provides essential funding to domestic violence shelters to enable them to fund the creation of on-site space to house pets. “Sadly, many domestic violence victims stay in abusive homes because they are afraid to leave their pets,” 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 life-saving sheltering services, reassured that their pets are protected.”
In September, the Lake Family Resource Center’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter was awarded a $3,000 grant from RedRover to construct an on-site housing center for pets of domestic violence victims. Lake Family Resource Center’s Executive Director, Gloria Flaherty said, “We believe that the Freedom House must provide safety for pets – this is vitally important to victims’ recoveries. We also believe that pets deserve rescue from domestic abusers and need to accompany their fleeing family members.” Flaherty added, “On-site services will support the safety of families and their pets. We feel passionate about this project and wouldn’t be able to start it without funding from RedRover.”
The Lake Family Resource Center will be using the grant funding to build an on-site facility furnished with kitty hotels, kennel runs and dog crates. However, additional donations are needed to provide families arriving with their animals with essential pet care basics. The Lake Family Resource Center’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter is seeking additional donations to purchase pet food, bowls, grooming products, cleaning supplies and other needs for pets staying at the shelter.
“No family should be turned away due to lack of resources,” said Flaherty. “With RedRover’s help, safely housing pets is one more service that we can offer to our community and so that we can help protect more families.”
To help purchase basic pet care items for Lake County pet owners affected by domestic violence, visit www.LakeFRC.org/Support-Us.
Support RedRover’s lifesaving domestic violence programs at www.RedRover.org/DonateRelief.
About the Lake Family Resource Center
Lake Family Resource Center has been serving Lake County families since 1995 to achieve safe, sustainable, healthy families and community. The Domestic Violence Assistance Program helps and supports women, men and children who are victims of domestic violence. Freedom House is the only domestic violence shelter in Lake County and is available 24/7 for those in need. The program offers many different resources, support groups, counseling, legal advocacy and an abundance of assistance to victims.