The Victorian Government has announced a new program to help victims of domestic violence.
“Pets are an integral part of families and we know that women and children are making decisions not to flee violence because they are concerned about the future and welfare of their pet,” said Families and Children Minister Jenny Mikakos, at the launch.
“It is difficult for [family violence] refuges to accept pets.”
Support group Safe Steps said threats against pets were often used as weapons by perpetrators of family violence
“We want to be able to provide them with the support to be able to place the pet with an animal welfare shelter.”
The Government said it would provide $100,000 over the next four years and Safe Steps would work with animal welfare agencies like the RSPCA to implement the program.
The additional funding will lift capacity to house pets at risk while their family members go to shelters to escape abuse. Until now, there has been a smaller volunteer network to take in pets in foster homes.
The connection between family violence and violence against animals is well documented. Pets in abusive homes are often targeted and threatened and so women living in abusive situations often do not escape for fear that their animals will be harmed.
When implemented, each of the platforms is aimed at supporting the goal of saving lives. The platforms are:
Our Animals – Every Life is Precious
Foster homes and other volunteers
Saving the strays
The Hokitika SPCA has made headlines for achieving a no-kill shelter status, a direction that the RNZSPCA not only endorses, but says that it wants to see replicated throughout the country . Read all about it in this article in the Greymouth Star.