Monday, October 5, 2009

RSPCA Awareness Week Day 5, Part 1: Safe Beds for Pets

RSPCA Safe Beds for Pets Program

Large numbers of family members in domestic violence situations have pets. Sadly, these family pets often become directly involved in domestic violence, as abuse of a pet is a tactic commonly used to control, hurt and intimidate the victim. Fear of leaving pets in the hands of a violent partner often prevents or delays victim's leaving a domestic violence situation.

Australian studies have indicated that between 50 and 85 per cent of women who experienced domestic violence had a family pet and that 54 per cent of abused women indicated that their partner had hurt or killed their family pets. In addition, over a third of people in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Community experience domestic violence or abuse.

The Safe Beds for Pets program was established to provide temporary housing for pets of families seeking refuge from domestic violence and to address the link between animal and human abuse and child protection. The safe beds program is not a long-term solution to the housing of the pet, but it gives domestic violence victims peace of mind and allows them to secure their own safety and make arrangements for the future. It is common practice for the perpetrator of domestic violence to lure family members back home by threatening to harm the pet. With the Safe Beds for Pets Program families can now leave domestic violence situations and not fear for the safety of their pets.

Who is eligible for Safe Beds for Pets?

Safe Beds for Pets is specifically designed to help victims of domestic violence. In most cases, these animals are referred through to the RSPCA from a domestic violence counselling service.

What does it cost?

Where possible, clients pay the veterinary and boarding fees at the time of service. All cases will be assessed on an individual basis.

The Safe Beds for Pets program is not government funded and relies on donations and grants for support.

For more information please email or Phone: (02) 9770 7555.

Safe Beds for Pets Checklist

- Please let us know if your pet has any health problems or is on medication.

- Provide as much information as you can on your pet’s behaviour – this will assist with settling your pet into their emergency accommodation as quickly as possible.

- Keep in regular contact with the Safe Beds for Pets Coordinator who can give you updates on your pet’s welfare and assist with getting you and your pet back together again as soon as possible.

- We want to help keep you and your pet safe – please keep information about your pet’s emergency accommodation confidential.

Thank you Sydney Twestival 2009

A big thank you to the organisers of the recent Sydney Twestival event who raised funds for our Safe Beds for Pets program through Twitter and a live event at Cafe Bones, Leichhardt. Sydney Twestival raised approximately $500 for the program!

RSPCA NSW greatly appreciates Sydney Twestival's support and for increasing awarness of our Safe Beds for Pets program.

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