JoAnna Lou
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Grants for Pet Friendly Women’s Shelters
AKC supports domestic violence services that welcome dogs

Nearly 50 percent of female domestic violence victims delay entering a women’s shelter because of concerns for leaving a pet behind. Not only does this prevent people from getting help, it also means animals remain in danger as well. 85 percent of women entering shelters talk about pet abuse in their family. Some shelters allow animals, making it easier for women to make the emotional decision to leave home, but many do not.

The AKC aims to support women’s shelters that welcome pets and encourage those who don’t to reconsider. In honor of October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the AKC Humane Fund awarded grants to eleven different pet friendly women’s shelters across the country in Safford, Arizona; Cabot, Arkansas; Crescent City and Susanville, California; Fort Collins, Colorado; Alpharetta, Georgia; Aurora, Indiana; Spruce Pine and Whiteville, North Carolina; Spearfish, South Dakota and Spokane, Washington.

These women’s shelters allow victims to bring pets with them to a safe space. Not only does this encourage people to leave dangerous living situations, but it also means that the women can have their pets by their side during a difficult time.  

To donate or apply for a grant, visit the AKC Humane Fund web site.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by littletinycowboy/flickr.

CommentsPost a Comment
Please note comments are moderated. After being approved your comment will appear below.
Submitted by AegeanBreeze | November 2 2012 |

This is not something I ever even gave a thought to. I applaud those shelters that allow pets, and I can understand other shelters that don't. Concerns about animal fights, fleas and whatnot. In this day and age of sue, sue, sue, public places are not as willing to put themselves at risk. I hope more shelters take the opportunity to apply for grants or just out and out, allow the pets. The thought of an animal that will be the sole center of abuse when the abuser finds out his family has left, scares me no end.

Submitted by R Wallick | November 6 2012 |

As a family law attorney and one-time domestic violence crisis center director, I know firsthand how concerns about pets can stymie one's escape from violence. Shelters and safe houses that allow pets are critical to a safe transition from violence for those facing this life-threatening decision. Let's not forget: abusers often use threats against pets as a way to terrorize their victims and keep them from leaving. Funding for pet-friendly shelters is a big step in the right and safe direction.

Submitted by rivkah | November 4 2013 |

This type of shelter IS a blessing. I AM a victim of abuse STUCK in my situation BECAUSE I have CATS and there are VERY few shelters like this that accepts CATS as well as dogs. This IS frustrating, BECAUSE although I LOVE dogs, I am a CAT PERSON as well. I AM even WILLING to work a few hours a day in a shelter, IF someone would take myself and my 6 CATS, which are ALL from one caboodle. The Grandmother, mother and 4 kittens WHO are INSEPERABLE.

More From The Bark

More in JoAnna Lou:
British Airways Launches Onboard Pet Entertainment
Borrowing a Pup on Vacation
Do We Over Include Our Pups?
Latest Shock Collar Research
OSU's Full Time Pet Therapy Program
Canine Hero Returns to Ground Zero
Dogs Prefer Petting Over Praise
Microchip Brings Dog Home Eight Years Later
Canine Curriculum for Kids
Jealousy in Dogs