Funding to support pets caught in domestic violence

Posted May 4, 2023
Since 2005, RSPCA Queensland has provided pets a safe haven for families fleeing domestic violence. The Petbarn Foundation has jumped on board to provide much needed funding.

May is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Sadly, domestic violence rates continue to increase every year. The need for crisis accommodation for pets is ever present.

To ensure emergency services can continue to help pet owners experiencing violence, the Petbarn Foundation has donated $100,000 our Pets in Crisis program to help survivors and their pets.

RSPCA Queensland’s Pets in Crisis program provides safe, reliable temporary emergency accommodation and vet care for pets while their owners work to escape domestic violence situations.

Since January, we’ve helped 70 pets with accommodation and basic vet services, and now with the generous support from the Petbarn Foundation we can extend this service to provide ongoing care and support for pets caught in domestic violence situations, through our Pets in Crisis and Community Outreach programs.

Kelly's Story

Kelly is one of the 70 pets helped this year.

The Kelpie cross has been part of the Pets in Crisis program since the end of 2022.

Kelly’s stay at the RSPCA had been extended a few times as her owner was struggling to find suitable pet friendly accommodation. As a Kelpie, Kelly was full of energy, but displayed some stranger danger behaviours and initially found it hard to cope in the shelter.

To help her feel safe, our Pets in Crisis team placed Kelly in a low traffic, low stress kennel. The team also helped build her confidence until she felt settled and more comfortable around new, friendly faces.

After two months in the Pets in Crisis program, her owner was able to collect Kelly.

Kelly was also desexed and vaccinated during her time at the RSPCA. Kelly’s owner was extremely grateful as having her dog desexed had helped her find new accommodation.

Coming back into the RSPCA to collect Kelly, her owner had goosebumps.

It was a beautiful experience to see Kelly and her owner finally reunited! Kelly was so happy when she saw her owner – she jumped around in excitement and hopped straight into her owner’s car.

There wasn’t a dry eye around as we waved farewell to Kelly and her owner.

Much Needed Funding

Petbarn Foundation’s donation towards Pets in Crisis comes during a time when we anticipate 350 individuals and their dependants will need emergency boarding for their pets this year.

Petbarn Foundation Manager, Janelle Bloxsom says, “Survivors of domestic violence have indicated they were hesitant to leave home because they worry about the safety of their pets being left behind with the perpetrator. That's why the Petbarn Foundation is continuing to fund programs like RSPCA Queensland’s Pets in Crisis, which helps ensure the safety of both people and their pets in need.”

Finding temporary accommodation for pets is a very important step in the journey of people fleeing domestic violence as often they would stay in unsafe situations for fear of their pets being hurt.

A state-wide increase in demand for the Pets in Crisis program has necessitated an expansion of the program to provide additional veterinary care and support for pets in the RSPCA’s care.

Requiring approximately $25 per day, per animal, plus additional costs for transport, vet care and foster care, the welcome donation from Petbarn Foundation will cover a significant portion of the running costs and veterinary care of our Pets in Crisis program.

All of us at the RSPCA are proud to be able to offer this invaluable service to people and their pets in need every year. This year, 42 pets in the program have already been reunited their families, with some being transported over state borders.

Need Help?

If you would like to find out more about the RSPCA Pets in Crisis program, including eligibility, please call DV Connect in the first instance. Please note that this program is for domestic violence cases only, and not homelessness, mental health or hospitalisation cases. If you need support with your pet in other areas, please reach out to our Community Outreach team.

  • DV Connect Women's line: 1800 811 811
  • DV Connect Men's line: 1800 600 636

Emma Lagoon
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