Liberty House Domestic Violence Shelter in Albany, Georgia, has become the first and only pet-friendly shelter in the region, thanks to the support of two non-profit organizations, RedRover and Greater Good Charities. The shelter has opened three “Pet Retreat Style” rooms that allow survivors of domestic violence to stay with their pets in a comfortable and safe environment.
The Importance of Keeping Pets with Survivors
Many survivors of domestic violence face a difficult dilemma when they decide to leave their abusers: what to do with their pets. According to various studies, up to 48 percent of women delay leaving a dangerous situation because they do not know how to keep their pets safe. Moreover, between 49 percent and 86 percent of survivors report that their abusers have threatened, harmed, or killed their pets.
Pets play a vital role in the emotional healing and support of survivors, who often consider them as family members. However, only 19 percent of domestic violence shelters in the United States can accommodate pets, leaving many survivors with no choice but to leave their pets behind or stay with their abusers.
The Partnership between RedRover and Greater Good Charities
RedRover and Greater Good Charities are two non-profit organizations that aim to help people and animals in need. Since 2012, RedRover has been working to keep survivors with their pets through a safe housing grants program. Since 2016, they have been partnering with Greater Good Charities to bring renovations to domestic violence shelters so that survivors can bring their pets with them.
The two organizations have launched a campaign to make sure that 25 percent of domestic violence shelters are pet-friendly by 2025 in the United States. They have already helped more than 130 shelters across the country, including Liberty House Domestic Violence Shelter.
The Features of the Pet Retreat Style Rooms
The new pet-friendly rooms at Liberty House Domestic Violence Shelter are designed to look like small living rooms, instead of kennels. They have a television, a couch, and a small pet door that allows the pets to go outside when needed. The rooms can accommodate three families with pets at a time.
The rooms also have a special feature that allows the survivors to control the access of their pets to the common areas of the shelter. They can use a remote control to open or close a gate that separates their room from the hallway. This way, they can ensure the safety and comfort of their pets and other residents.
The rooms are meant to provide a sense of home and security for both the survivors and their pets, who can stay together during a difficult time. The rooms also allow the staff and volunteers of Liberty House Domestic Violence Shelter to provide better care and support for the survivors and their pets.
The Benefits of the Pet-Friendly Shelter
The pet-friendly shelter has many benefits for both the survivors and the community. For the survivors, it means that they do not have to worry about leaving their pets behind or finding alternative arrangements for them. They can also enjoy the companionship and love of their pets, which can help them cope with trauma and stress.
For the community, it means that more survivors will be able to seek help and safety at Liberty House Domestic Violence Shelter, which can reduce the rates of domestic violence and homelessness in the region. It also means that fewer pets will end up in animal shelters or on the streets, which can improve animal welfare and public health.
The pet-friendly shelter is a win-win situation for everyone involved, as it fosters a culture of compassion and respect for both humans and animals.