February 23, 2017Blog

Homeless Shelters and Domestic Violence Shelters

There is not a week that goes by when a woman calls Pets of the Homeless asking for help and locations of a homeless or domestic violence shelter that will allow her pet.  Many have children as well.

Earlier this month, Congress re-introduced the Pet and Women Safety Act, H.R. 909/S.322, a bill to protect victims of domestic violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by acts of violence or threats of violence against their pets. Only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters accommodate pets. As a result, victims of domestic violence are forced to choose between their safety and the safety of their pets, often leading to delay in leaving dangerous situations. Sponsored by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA), the Pet and Women Safety Act is supported by almost 200 representatives from both sides of the aisle. Please join in supporting passage of the Pet and Women Safety Act of 2017 by sending a letter of support and contacting your Representative and Senators. The human-animal bond has been shown to help victims of trauma, and together we can work to protect the pets and people who need each other for healing and support.

What are we doing to help?

Pets of the Homeless will ship metal sleeping crates to homeless shelters so pets of the homeless can sleep comfortably and safely next to their loving guardians.   This is an important first step to help the homeless get the services they require to end their homelessness and begin a new life with their companion pet.

The crates become the property of the shelter and can be used many times due to durability.   In 2016 three crates were shipped to Share House in Vancouver, WA and one crate to the Seattle Union Gospel Mission.

This is the one program that has been the most difficult to promote.  Our disappointment when asking homeless shelters to participate and being told that pets are not allowed due to permits, health department restrictions and many other concerns is tough to hear.  But we will continue to encourage as many shelters as possible.

You can help by supporting the Pet and Women Safety Act and by donating to Pets of the Homeless so we have the funds to ship free crates to homeless and domestic violence shelters.