Safe Pets is a program designed to aid people and pets who find themselves in domestic violence situations. It offers free room & board for pets belonging to victims fleeing abusive situations for up to 30 days.
The VHS began this program in the summer of 1997 after having learned of another group of animals in our community who need our help. Animal abuse is often present in homes with other types of abuse such as domestic or child abuse. Many abusers will threaten victims’ pets as a form of manipulation or control. In working specifically with 2 area organizations, the YWCA and the Albion Fellows Bacon Center, we found that many individuals stay in abusive situations for fear of what will happen to their pet if they leave. No local human shelters accept pets, so without this program, many of these animals would be abandoned, abused, or displaced. Through the Safe Pets program, VHS is able to house these animals at no cost to their owner either at the shelter or in anonymous foster homes.
The goal of the Safe Pets program is to reduce the potential for continued abuse to both people and their animals. Since the program began tracking data in 2013, the VHS has helped more than 50 victims place their animals in temporary care. 12 of these victims were served in 2016 alone. Hopefully, by providing temporary care for the animals, owners can seek shelter and attempt to get their life back on track for themselves and their pets.
For more information on using this program, please contact either agency above or contact the VHS Shelter Operations Manager at (812) 426-2563 extension 220.
To make a donation to underwrite the costs of the Safe Pets program, visit our Donations page.
To become a foster parent for Safe Pets animals needing housing, visit our Foster Care page.