Because no one should have to give up a vital family member when seeking a safe haven.
Pets are undoubtedly an emotional support for humans, but unfortunately many shelters (and even apartment buildings) for domestic violence survivors don’t allow pets—leaving these families with a difficult decision. To stay with their pet in dangerous living conditions or part with their furry friend to seek safer shelter for the rest of their household? Luckily, there are many resources for domestic violence survivors with pets, so they can find a welcoming home or temporary shelter for the entire family without losing a vital member of the family (that can help them heal, too).
Real Simple recently attended a domestic violence panel with Purina, the Urban Resource Institute and PALS, where experts discussed the critical connection between pets and their owners. Here are just a few of the resources experts recommended that you can count on if you or someone you know needs to find shelter that allows pets.
1. National DV Hotline
When you’re not sure who to turn to, this should be your primary resource. Whether you call or chat online, an expert will provide you with lifesaving tools and support to help you find a safe space. You can discuss resources or talk about whether you may be in an unhealthy relationship. You can also chat with an expert about how to help a friend who's in an abusive relationship. Every conversation is confidential.
Contact: 1-800-799-7233; thehotline.org/help/
2. Red Rover
Easily find a pet-friendly shelter based on location through Red Rover. Choose from on-site housing where you can bring your pet with you, off-site housing (places animals in a foster program or boarding facility), or a community program like an animal shelter. Domestic violence survivors can apply for the Domestic Violence Safe Escape Grant, which covers the cost of temporary pet boarding while they're in a domestic violence shelter.
3. Animals and Families - Together
For a quick, concise guide to trusted pet shelters for domestic violence survivors, head to this website, which lists contact information for pet-friendly shelters in every state.
4. Animal Welfare Institute
This is another resource that lists safe shelters for domestic violence survivors who need to find shelter for their pet. You can either find a shelter directly or a place that provides expert referrals.