For many people, pets are like members of the family. We would do anything we could to protect them, sometimes even putting ourselves in harm’s way.
Victims of domestic violence endure unspeakable abuse, which can spill over against the animals they love. Sometimes family pets are harmed or care is withheld in an attempt to control someone, and it can be a gut-wrenching decision to leave a violent situation when a pet must stay behind. Studies show that up to 48% of women are unable to escape their abusers because they worried about what will happen to their pets when they leave (Ascione, F.R., 2007).
Thankfully, an organization in Dallas wants to provide a solution for this problem.
The Family Place helps victims of domestic violence by offering emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, and other programs and services for women, children, and men. The organization has just opened a new 47-bed shelter for domestic abuse survivors, and has added a kennel so that they may accept pets (dogs and cats) as well.
With help the SPCA of Texas, the new kennel — dubbed Barkingham Palace, which has a bathing station, cuddle room, and a dog run — is almost ready to begin accepting furry guests. To assist with the day-to-day operations, The Family Place is looking for help. They are hiring two kennel techs and are also looking for volunteer foster parents who can help get the dogs to SPCA for medical care so they are healthy and ready to begin their stay in the kennel.
For abuse survivors, this kennel can mean the peace of mind that their pets are safe while they search for new housing, go to job interviews, or simply get a peaceful night’s rest away from their abuser. For the dogs, they get to stay with the people who love them, and help them get through a tough time and start a new chapter of their lives.
For more information about The Family Place, please visit familyplace.org.