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, each pet receives 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.
- Due of lack of funds and accommodation space within shelters or foster carers, DVConnect is forced to say no to almost 200 more pets who need help. This breaks our hearts.
- 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.
- It costs a minimum of $150,000 to operate the Pets In Crisis program. This increases when the number of animals needing help increases.
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. Research shows that up to 25% of people in violent situations choose to stay because of concern for the pets welfare if they leave.
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?
Check out all you need to know about becoming a foster carer.
A donation of any amount helps hugely. You can make a one off donation, or a regular monthly donation. See how your donation helps:
- $26 can provide 1 dog or cat with a warm bed, litter tray, and a meal
- $53 could buy antibiotics for 1 sick dog/cat for a week to help them on the road to recovery
- $150 could help desex 1 abandoned dog/cat
- $350 could provide emergency treatment for an animal
Hold a fundraiser
- A Facebook Fundraiser works well. You can ask your friends/family for a donation in lieu of birthday gifts.
- A morning tea at your workplace where your colleagues bring a plate and a donation would be a fun addition to the week.
- There are so many other fun ways you can fundraise for Pets In Crisis, check them out.