About Pets in Crisis

The Pets In Crisis program provides safe accommodation, food and vet care to pets whose families have escaped domestic and family violence. The challenge for families with pets is that shelters/refuges do not allow pets. If accommodation cannot be found for the pet with family or friends, the abused often chooses to stay with their abuser for fear of what will happen to the pet if they leave without it.


The Facts about Pets In Crisis

  • The Pets In Crisis program exists to care for pets whose families are escaping domestic and family violence.
  • The majority of refuges/shelters in Queensland do not allow pets. This results in many people staying in abusive relationships because they are scared of what might happen to them if they are left with the abuser.
  • The program was established in 2005 and is a collaboration between DVConnect and the RSPCA Queensland.
  • Once admitted into the program, the RSPCA Queensland provides each pet with safe accommodation, healthy food daily, required vaccinations, microchipping and they are desexed. In many cases the pet is given additional veterinary care to help pre-existing conditions. These conditions may be a result of the abuser hurting the family pet, or not allowing finances to be spent on vital vaccinations or care it is sick/injured. 
  • The program cares for almost 300 pets each year.
  • Pets can stay in the program for up to 28 days but the average day the pets stayed in the program in 2018-19 was 34 days.
  • Any type of pet is accepted, provided there is a suitable place for them to be cared for. This could mean a cat, dog, horse, goat, guinea pig etc.


The Pets In Crisis program is only accessible by calling the DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811, anytime 24/7, 365 days a year.

The link between domestic violence and pets

For any pet lover whose animal is part of the family the thought of leaving them behind in an emergency is unthinkable. Sadly pets are often abused as part of the spectrum of domestic and family violence. DVConnect counsellors regularly speak with people whose pets are beaten or tortured by abusive partners. The abuser does this to frighten and control the victim into staying in the violent relationship. RSPCA Queensland’s Inspectorate frequently investigates animal cruelty cases of this nature. 

Women, children and their beloved pets across Queensland are constrained in violent relationships because the practical challenges of leaving are too overwhelming. These women are torn between protecting themselves and their children and the increased risk for their pets if they leave them behind. This is where our Pets In Crisis program helps. Knowing their pets will be safe and that they’ll be reunited once they can get back on their feet can be the catalyst for leaving abuse.


How you can help

Become a Foster Carer?

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A donation of any amount helps hugely. If you can donate, please do so here.

    Thank you DVConnect for saving my Mums life, and mine. You guys getting us out of there changed everything. Thank you so much. Life is good now! 

    Our survivor has chosen to remain anonymous.

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    How your donation will help

    • Provides operational support to fund our bridging accommodation residence Bella's Sanctuary.
    • Provides emergency transport and accommodation for Queenslanders in crisis due to domestic and family violence.
    • Provides safety planning, crisis counselling and information to those impacted by domestic and family violence.
    • Educates Queenslanders on how to help family, friends and colleagues who have experienced, or are experiencing domestic and family violence.