Lifesaving Program Helps Victims and Pets Seek Safety Together
Sacramento, CA – RedRover, a national nonprofit organization based in Sacramento, California, recently awarded a RedRover® Relief Safe Housing grant to Rainbow House to enable the Wisconsin-based shelter to build on-site housing for pets of domestic violence victims.
RedRover’s Safe Housing program 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.
“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 lifesaving sheltering services, reassured that their pets are protected.”
In November, RedRover awarded Rainbow House a $6,000 grant to construct an on-site housing center for pets of domestic violence victims, which will include kitty hotels, kennel runs and dog crates. Rainbow House’s Executive Director, Courtney Olson, said, “We believe that the Rainbow 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.” Olson 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.”
“No family should be turned away due to lack of resources,” said Olson. “With RedRover’s help, safely housing pets is one more service that we can offer to our communities and can help protect more families.”
Support RedRover’s lifesaving domestic violence programs at RedRover.org/DonateRelief.
More information about RedRover’s domestic violence programs can be found at RedRover.org/Domestic.
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.
About the Rainbow House
Rainbow House has been serving families in Marinette, Menominee, and Oconto Counties for over 35 years to achieve safe, sustainable, healthy families and community. The Rainbow House helps and supports women, men and children who are victims of domestic violence. Rainbow House is the only domestic violence shelter in our three county area 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.
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916.429.2457 ext. 317