Domestic Violence Resources for Women With Pets

Agencies are there to lend support to help women, their children and pets escape violent situations.

Karin Jones of Laguna Beach, Calif., a cat owner who escaped a physically abusive relationship, offers some words of wisdom for women trapped in similar situations. Her story is featured in the July 2009 issue of CAT FANCY.

Things to prepare ahead of time for women and children:

  • Have a suitcase packed with clothes for yourself and your children
  • Toys
  • Photo ID
  • Birth certificates
  • Medical cards
  • Bank statements
  • Extra cash (You don’t want to use your bank card or credit card because they can be traced)
  • Important phone numbers (doctors, family, friends, school, work, etc.)
  • Phone number of the nearest battered women shelter or police station
  • Prepaid phone card (Don’t use your cell phone; it can be traced)

Talk to friends (or PAWS shelter, humane society, vet) about caring for your pets.

Needs for pets:

  • Bag of food
  • Litterbox
  • Toys
  • Vaccination records
  • Microchip records

Resources for Women With Pets
National Domestic Violence Hotline (Under the National Council of Domestic Violence)
800-799-SAFE (7233)
This hotline can help women “plug in” to resources in their  city and state, including animal-related options when available.

Pets and Women’s Shelters (PAWS) Program, American Humane 
Online directory of shelters for women and their pets.

Ahimsa House 
Operates 24-hour nationwide hotline that provides assistance, resources and safehouse networks for women with pets.
24-Hour Crisis Line: 404-452-6248
The organization also maintains an up-to-date national online directory for safe-house programs in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
State-by-state list of contacts that may be able to find accommodations for pets.

Humane Society of the United States Safe Havens for Animals Programs
Online directory of safe havens for pets.

To see larger version, click here.

Dusty Rainbolt is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and is the author of “Kittens for Dummies.”

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