Fleeing from domestic violence can be a terrifying prospect and can also be incredibly dangerous, and sometimes running to a shelter is the only situation available to victims. Unfortunately, many times when a person flees such a situation, those shelters don’t allow for animals to stay with their owners.
The Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, is known as an animal lover, and she’s awarded a state grant in the amount of $95,207 that will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets who have no place to go when their owners flee from a terrible living situation.
This grant was awarded to the Humane Society of Shelby County Inc, in Columbiana. This organization already created a currently existing program for pets in domestic violence situations in 2018 called Shelby Safepet program. This money will help them to continue in this mission and ensure that these abandoned pets are cared for. The Humane Society of Shelby County Inc started this program in 2018 to help protect animals who were caught up in family violence situations, and have been able to expand this year due to an abundance of community support, including veterinarians and community volunteers.
The program works through The Humane Society of Shelby County partnering with organizations that can offer emergency shelter. Through a network of veterinarians and volunteers they are able to care for these pets while their owners who are fleeing dangerous situations, find shelter and can eventually be reunited with them. According to Shelby Safe Pet’s website: 71% of survivors of domestic or family violence who have pets say that their pet has been threatened, injured or even killed before they eventually seek help from their situation. In addition to that, 48% of survivors report that they have delayed leaving an abusive living situation because they have a pet.
The grant is being administered by The Alabama Department of Economic and Community with funds that have been given by the U.S Department of Justice. Director of the ADECA, Kenneth Boswell, had this to say about the funds being awarded: “Anyone who is familiar with Gov. Ivey knows she has a heart for animals and is concerned about their well-being, ADECA is pleased to offer its support for this program”.
This program is offered at no cost to participants, and the primary goal is to ensure that these animals have a place to go and be cared for when their owners are getting out of an abusive situation.
Authored by: Lianne Hikind