Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog the Change—URI PALS


Today I'm writing about women. Abused women. Many women in domestic violence situations don't want to leave their homes cos it means leaving their beloved pets behind. They fear for themselves and they fear for their pets as well. Now there are shelters which allow victims to bring their pets with them. You can find a list of these shelters at Sheltering Animals & Families Together's website. SAF-T lists 30 states which house such shelters. The site also contains a link for families who need financial assistance to enable women to leave an abusive home and they have a downloadable Pet Safety Planning Guide and Start-Up Guide.

While I don't think any of my friends are in a situation like this, you may know someone who needs help. For instance, about a year ago, we got a desperate e-mail from a Twitter friend. Someone he knew quite well was in a situation where she had to take her kids and get out of an abusive home. She needed to re-home her 2 dogs. This broke her heart and ours. After a frantic search, her dogs were transported to safety in California.

New York City's Urban Resource Institute (URI) has a pilot program called People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) that allows victims of domestic violence to bring their pets into the shelter. They're starting with cats and small animals and with the support of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, they hope to include dogs by the end of the year. They're trying to raise $250,000 to retrofit their facilities with dog runs and other changes needed to accommodate dogs, as well as to launch PALS in its three other domestic violence shelters in NYC.

Do you know that more than 40% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear for their pets? Plus, more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelters report that the abuser has threatened, injured or killed family pets. Until the PAWS project, none of NYC's more than 50 shelters allowed pets in residence.

Pets are family members and it's time shelters opened their doors to us. Don't you agree?

I want to keep my family together.

31 comments:

  1. That all just is heart-breaking. Thank goodness these changes are coming into play. Important post CK. (Thanks for celebrating my Birthday with me!)

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  2. Thank you for this very valuable information CK

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  3. This is such an important issue, and it does not get enough attention!

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  4. This isn't something I had put much thought into before. Glad to know that the shelters are becoming more welcoming to pets. I'm familiar with this sort of domestic abuse personally in my family (not to me), but pets didn't seem to be an issue with that situation. Great post!

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  5. Very important, CK. Thanks for highlighting it xx

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  6. We definitely agree. Pets are very much part of the family and many times, are the sole source of comfort for abused humans. No one should be forced to choose between continued abuse and the pet.

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  7. That's really good news, CK. One of our local shelters for battered women opened an annex for keeping pets on-site recently, and we thought it was a great idea. Pets, like children, are part of the family that have to be thought of in these unfortunate situations.

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  8. We agree it is heart breaking and more needs to be done. Great post Keisha. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  9. Me and the mom-person definitely agree , pets are very much part of the family !
    Here in Sweden we have a non profit organization called VOOV founded by veterinarians and veterinary students in Uppsala.
    http://www.voov.nu/english

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  10. What a great post, CK. We completely agree! PALS is a wonderful and very needed program.
    xo

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  11. great post - we are so glad that more places are recognizing the need to help people and their pets get out of these situations....

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  12. That was really good CK! There are a few shelters here that permit furry family members but it really does need to be a standard for all!

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  13. What a great post. Our fur babies are family members and should not be left behind.

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  14. Now that information is critical and wonderful. And this post CK, well it is just pawsome! I forgot today was B4TC, but I will post later this week. Your post is pure inspiration and as Mom Linda has done counseling for battered women, she knows many won't leave because of their kids and/or pets...it is a terrible situation. The battered women's shelter Mom Linda was on the BOD for would not allow pets and no local rescue would help. paw pats, Savannah

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  15. My Momz was in a bad relationship that ended in violence...I was left alone for over 24 hours and it was the worst time of my young life...Luckily we had our own home so we never had to go back there but it's good to know that there are places for other women in the situation to go and get help

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  16. Great program - love that they support these women having their pets with them right when they need them most. Excellent!

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  17. thanks so much for this incredible post. This is something we need to all think about and be aware of, even if we think we don't have to be. Superb!

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  18. That's a great post. As one who got out of an abusive marriage 14 years ago, I often think of people who face these issues. I feared for my late cat, Bobbi all the time until the judge permitted my daughter, Bobbi and I to leave the house. We need to make things easier.

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  19. Excellent post. We never thought about the need for pet friendly shelters for the abused.

    The Florida Furkids

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  20. This is a very important issue. While we don't know anyone in this situation now, long ago Mommy knew a lady that had to give her poodle away because her husband was abusive.

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  21. Thanks for this important info, CK. We kinda hope we never hafta share it with anyone we know, but it is important to know this.

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  22. This is such a sad thing--we looked at the California shelters and the only ones are in the South--hope some open up in our 'enlightened' Bay Area. Great post.

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  23. Very important issue that we don't hear enough about! None of the women's shelters in our area allow pets :-( Sharing.

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  24. Excellent post about a very sad and important issue! Heartbreaking ... some men don't deserve to live ...
    Information like this is critical for anyone in this awful type of situation ...

    Purrz,
    Selina & MomKatt

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  25. Thank you for this terrific and important post, CK. There is such a need for programs like PALS, and we hope many others follow their lead.

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  26. Excellent information CK and I'm so happy you posted this information. I well remember those doggies that went to California. Thanks for bringing this to "life" again.

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  27. When our mom was young she had to move to avoid an abusive boyfriend and had to find someplace temporarily for her little dog 'cause she was afraid he might hurt her. This project sounds great. Just read something on another blog where projects can be submitted for funding. Don't remember where, but suspect you probably read that blog as well. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauridio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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  28. I missed the blog hop for this but want to thank you for spotlighting a serious cause that needs to be widely known.

    Dash Kitten

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  29. This is such an important issue. I'm glad more domestic violence shelters are allowing pets now. Otherwise many women will continue to stay in a violent relationship for fear that their pets will be harmed. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. An extremely important issue - thanks for writing about it, and sharing such helpful info! Sadly it's all too real for so many attempting to flee abuse. What wonderful news to learn more and more shelters are working to accommodate precious pets.

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals!
    KimT
    www.BTC4Animals.com
    http://cindylusmuse.blogspot.com

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