Sacramento, CA (June 23, 2014) – RedRover (www.RedRover.org), a California-based nonprofit organization, has started a fundraiser to help domestic violence shelters build pet-friendly housing for victims’ pets: www.RedRover.org/DomesticViolenceShelteringForPets. As many as 65 percent of pet-owning domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets if they leave. Currently, less than 5 percent of all domestic violence shelters in the United States provide on-site housing for pets, which leaves countless victims looking for a safe place to shelter their family with their companion animals.
RedRover’s Safe Housing grant program provides domestic violence shelters with up to $3,000 in funds to build pet-friendly accommodations on-site at the shelter, so victims don’t have to worry about finding a safe place for their pets when they flee their abusers. RedRover is looking to raise $12,000 help domestic violence shelters build pet housing; four shelters have applied for Safe Housing grants so far this year.
At SAFEHOME, Inc., a shelter in Overland Park, Kansas, one in every two women served by SAFEHOME is in urgent need to shelter their pets in order to leave their abusers. A victim recently told a SAFEHOUSE advocate, “He says he’ll kill the dogs if I try to leave. They are the only thing I have left.” According to Janeé Hanzlick, Executive Director for SAFEHOME, “A grant from RedRover will greatly contribute to SAFEHOME’s ability to provide safety and effective services to all victims of domestic violence and their children, especially for victims with pets.”
Underground Railroad, Inc. in Saginaw, Michigan, is also applying for a Safe Housing grant from RedRover. “Saginaw County was named the most dangerous city in the nation for women,” said Valerie Hoffman, Underground Railroad, Inc.’s Executive Director. “Survivors have few options for pet care, and RedRover’s Safe Housing grant will enable us to remove the barrier of remaining in an unsafe environment to protect their pet.”
Four domestic violence shelters have applied for RedRover’s Safe Housing grants this year to build on-site housing for pets:
Anna Marie’s Alliance in St. Cloud, Minnesota
Dove Center in Oakland, Maryland
SAFEHOME, Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas
Underground Railroad, Inc. in Saginaw, Michigan
“These shelters are on the frontier of solving a critical problem for abuse victims and their pets,” said Esperanza Zuniga, RedRover’s program manager. “They’re working in our communities, bravely fighting all obstacles to help animals – and they deserve our help.”
Interested in donating or learning more about the project?
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. Learn more at RedRover.org.
916.429.2457 ext. 316