Pets in Crisis
What is Pets in Crisis?
Pets in Crisis is a foster care program in partnership with the RSPCA Queensland to help facilitate safe accommodation for animals at risk until they can be reunited with their families.
Pets in Crisis provides a safe house for the pets of individuals at serious risk of domestic violence. Women who need to seek crisis accommodation but who are unable to find care for their pets can contact the DVConnect 24 hour crisis line on 1800 811 811 and DVConnect will work directly with RSPCA Qld to find temporary care for their pets at either an RSPCA Animal Care Centre across the State or with trained RSPCA foster carers.
Pets in Crisis is a critical program that delivers many community benefits. On the one hand, it provides women with a release from their ‘hostage’ situations and enables families to seek safety.
On the other, pets are protected from violence or abandonment and are able to be reunited with their families when they are in a safe environment.
How it works
Pets in Crisis is administered directly through DVConnect Womensline.
Women and sometimes men whose pets are in immediate threat or danger or whose pets have become victims of cruelty associated with domestic or family violence can speak with a counsellor at DVConnect Womensline 1800 811 811 about their concerns for their pets and we can assess and advise whether the pets can be offered a place with Pets in Crisis.
Please note that this program is for domestic violence cases only, unfortunately we are not able to assist with homelessness, mental health or hospitalisation cases.
For women who need to stay in safe accommodation but are unable to find alternative care for their pets we can support them with a referral.
DVConnect counsellors will refer directly to the RSPCA where the animals will be fostered or cared for, until it is safe for the animal to return to the owner. There is a very small charge for this service. This may be reviewed in extenuating circumstances. For any pet lover whose animal is part of the family the thought of leaving them behind in an emergency is unthinkable!
Why is Pets in Crisis vital?
For hundreds of Queensland pet lovers, the decision to leave their home is made all the more difficult when the need to leave is due to escalating or persistent domestic or family violence.
Many women, children and their beloved pets across Queensland are constrained in violent relationships and fear moving because of the practical challenges which may be too overwhelming.
In addition, places available in crisis accommodation for the victims of domestic and family violence are scarce, and in Queensland there are limited safe houses that are able to accommodate companion animals.
Women who have been living with domestic violence can often be drained emotionally and financially, and are torn between protecting themselves and their children and potential increased risk to their pets (if they are not already affected) who can become the victims of violence and cruelty if left in the care of the perpetrator of violence.
DVConnect counsellors regularly speak to women and some men whose pets are threatened or actually hurt by abusive partners in order to frighten and control them into staying in violent relationships.
For others, especially the children, moving without their special companions compounds the stress and sense of loss they are experiencing during this time of change.
Pets in Crisis – Helps whole families!
Thanks to this program, pets can now be moved to safe locations and cared for in loving situations until their owners circumstances have changed for the better.
Knowing that their pets will be cared for and that they can be reunited as soon as they can get back on their feet is sometimes the catalyst for many women having the courage to take that vital step towards leaving a violent domestic situation and protecting themselves, their children and just as importantly their pets.