We’re Renovating a Domestic Violence Shelter to Make it Pet-Friendly, And You Can Help

When trying to leave their abusers, many victims of domestic violence think twice due to fears over their pets’ safety. In fact, research has shown that about half will put off leaving if they can’t take their pets with them. This is a problem, as only about 17% of domestic violence shelters across the country accept pets. That’s why we’ve joined a collaborative effort to make more shelters pet-friendly, and the latest project is currently underway.

CURRENT ROOM AT SPAN. PHOTO: GREATER GOOD CHARITIES

This month, we’re working with Greater Good Charities, RedRover + Purina’s Purple Leash Project, and PetSmart Charities to renovate SPAN in Boulder County, Colorado. SPAN, or Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, will get four new doggie play yards and cat enrichment spaces indoors, along with pet-proof flooring in 10 bedrooms. More shelving and storage space to accommodate the new four-legged residents will also be added.

This is part of a broader goal to ensure that 25% of domestic violence shelters are pet-friendly by 2025.


KEEP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS AND THEIR PETS TOGETHER


Bryna Donnelly, Executive Vice President of Programs at Greater Good Charities, says, “We are thrilled and grateful to our partners to be able to provide a safe space in Boulder County area for domestic survivors and their pets, so they heal together. No one in crisis should ever have to choose between safety and their pet.”

RENDERINGS OF RENOVATIONS AT SPAN. PHOTO: GREATER GOOD CHARITIES

Unfortunately, that is often the case, as 97% of survivors say keeping their pets with them is an important deciding factor in whether they’ll seek shelter. Ninety-one percent also say that the emotional support and physical protection they receive from their pets is essential to their ability to survive and heal.

RENDERINGS OF RENOVATIONS AT SPAN. PHOTO: GREATER GOOD CHARITIES

Having a safe space isn’t just important for the human victims, either. About three in 10 survivors say their pets had already been harmed or killed, while 37% say their abuser has made threats against their pet.

Many in SPAN’s community are facing similar issues. Last year, Broomfield Police reported a 31% increase in domestic violence-related assaults, while police departments in Boulder County responded to 1,800 domestic assaults.

RENDERINGS OF RENOVATIONS AT SPAN. PHOTO: GREATER GOOD CHARITIES

Projects like this Rescue Rebuild are part of Greater Good Charities’ and RedRover’s Don’t Forget the Pets initiative to support human and animal welfare organizations working to safeguard the pets of domestic violence survivors and people experiencing homelessness. If you’d like to help contribute to projects like these, click below!

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