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New program to help abused women and their pets leave violence behind

Humane Society intakes pets and places them with fosters who have undergone training to care for animals who have experienced violence
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NEWS RELEASE
GUELPH HUMANE SOCIETY
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Community Veterinary Outreach, the Guelph Humane Society and Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis have partnered up on a new program, Pets in Transition, which provides temporary emergency foster homes and care for the pets of women leaving domestic violence.

Domestic violence and animal abuse often co-occur. Few domestic violence shelters in Canada allow pets, so many women leaving abuse face a hard choice – stay in a violent home to take care of their animals or leave them behind.

“Not having a safe place for pets to go has often been a barrier to women leaving an abusive situation,” explains Jacinta Cassidy, program manager at Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis.

According to recent studies, as many as 59 per cent of abused women who have pets delay leaving violent relationships because they fear leaving pets behind but don’t have anywhere else to keep them.

Pets in Transition supports women leaving abuse by making sure that everyone in the home, human and animal, has a safe place to stay and to heal from violence.

The Guelph Humane Society intakes pets and places them with foster caregivers who have undergone specialized training in caring for animals who may have experienced violence. Veterinary assessments and care are provided by Community Veterinary Outreach.

Melissa Stolz, Volunteer & Animal Program Manager at the Guelph Humane Society says, “The foster parents have shown a great deal of passion for this program and have been making generous accommodations for their Pets in Transition foster animals to make them feel as comfortable as possible in their foster home.”

“It is wonderful to be able to offer women a safe place for their pets to go while they rebuild their lives,” says Cassidy.

The program also offers pet safety planning, public education, referrals and resources for women transitioning to violence-free lives. Women who need support or would like more information about the program can call the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis 24-Hour Crisis Line: 519-836-5710 or 1-800-265- 7233.

Those interested in fostering or in contributing to this program by making a monetary donation can contact the Guelph Humane Society at 519-824-3091 or info@guelphhumane.ca.

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