Fargo News

New grant supports pet safety in domestic violence situations in Fargo

Fargo, North Dakota – The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo has been awarded a grant by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), marking a significant step forward in the support of both animal welfare and the safety of domestic violence survivors. This grant underscores the critical connection between animal abuse and family violence, aiming to offer comprehensive resources for those in need.

With the financial backing from AWI, the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center plans to enhance its support network for survivors by focusing on the well-being of their pets, which often play a pivotal role in their lives. Recognizing the challenge survivors face when trying to leave dangerous situations due to concerns for their pets, the center will establish a volunteer foster program specifically for these animals. This initiative will not only provide safe housing for pets and their owners but will also cover essential expenses such as pet deposits, rental fees, vaccines, veterinary care, and the planning for pet safety.

Claire Coughlin, the director of AWI’s Animals and Interpersonal Violence program, highlighted the importance of this support, noting the reluctance of domestic violence survivors to leave harmful environments for fear of their pets’ safety. By offering pet-friendly services and shelter, the grant aims to remove significant obstacles that prevent individuals from seeking the safety they desperately need. This grant represents a crucial development in catering to the underserved needs of communities, ensuring that survivors do not have to choose between their safety and the well-being of their pets.

Judith Jackson

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