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After several months of careful planning, Interval House is excited to announce our partnership with Link Toronto’s SafePet program. This program will match women survivors of abuse seeking emergency shelter with foster homes for their beloved pets for the duration of their stay at the shelter.
When women and children decide to flee to a shelter, we know that the concern for their family pets is often a major factor in the decision to leave an abusive partner. Often, an abuser will threaten the animal’s life as a form of control. Knowing that she can’t bring her pet to a shelter, a woman may decide to stay with her abuser if she believes leaving could harm her animal in any way.
In an effort to remove this major barrier to seeking safety, the SafePet program was started. Now a woman can bring a pet to SafePet partner veterinarians, who will ensure the animal is well taken care of in approved foster homes. Then she can safely make her way to an emergency shelter, with peace of mind in knowing her pets will be happy, healthy, safe, and loved for as long as it takes for her to get back on her feet.
The SafePet program was designed with the safety and anonymity of survivors in mind. Survivors can access the program as part of Interval House’s regular admission and assessment process. Partner veterinarians and foster caregivers are also kept confidential, to prevent abusers tracking down their pets and/or victims.
We are proud to provide this service to women and children fleeing abuse. Survivors can focus on healing and regaining their independence with their pets housed and fed away from any possibility of abuse. The SafePet program gives Interval House the opportunity to help even more families — women, children, and now, their pets!