QUEENSLAND’S special domestic violence taskforce has found many victims are choosing to stay in dangerous and abusive relationships out of fear of leaving their pets behind.
A new Pets in Crisis foster care service, run in partnership with DVConnect and the RSCPA, is helping break that barrier by allowing victims to find safety for both them and their pets.
Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the new service provides a safe haven for pets of domestic violence victims and was helping break the cycle of violence.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
In the past six months, the RSPCA has accepted 83 animals into the foster care service and provided 2710 days of care for these pets.
In the past six months, the RSPCA has accepted 83 animals into the foster care service and provided 2710 days of care for these pets. The average length of stay for pets in the foster care service is 30 days.
In the same time, DVConnect has transported and paid for other associated costs to help an additional 32 women get their pets to safety.
The average length of stay for pets in the foster care service is 30 days.
“The Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland identified that victims may delay leaving abusive and violent situations due to animal welfare concerns,” Mr Farmer said.
“If they can’t take their pets with them, some chose to stay in violent relationships.
“Knowing that their pets have a safe place to go removes a barrier to leaving home. This helps break the cycle of violence.”
Ms Farmer said the Pets in Crisis program was an essential service that contributes to saving the lives of victims, as well as their pets.
“This is a sad reality”, she said. “The need for the Pets in Crisis program keeps growing.”
“We know that pets can be harmed or threatened with harm when perpetrators of domestic violence use them as another way to control or intimidate victims.”
Ms Farmer said domestic violence shelters accepting animals at risk from domestic and family violence now operate in Brisbane, Townsville, and Charters Towers, with another slated to open soon in Roma.
“Two new shelters for South East Queensland announced in the 2017-18 State Budget will also house companion animals,” Mr Farmer said.
“The Queensland Government also is working hard to make existing shelters pet-friendly over time as opportunities arise.”
The Queensland Government has provided $100,000 to RSPCA Queensland to continue providing the program.
You can get involved by applying to the RSPCA to be an animal foster carer or donate to the program.
For more information on how to financially support the service email fundraising@DVCconnect.org
For more information on the Queensland Government’s actions to tackle domestic violence, click here.