There is much to be said for the bond between humans and their pets. Pets not only provide companionship but also comfort and unconditional love. They truly are members of our families. Sheltering Animals and Families Together (SAF-T) is the only initiative of its kind helping domestic violence survivors leave abusive environments with their pets.
- Approximately 85% of victims who entered emergency shelters reported that their abusive partner had threatened, injured or killed the family pet.
- Up to 48% of domestic violence victims delay leaving or return to an abusive partner out of fear for their pets’ safety.
SAF-T was created by Allie Phillips, a Michigan and Maryland licensed attorney, to help eliminate the barrier of domestic violence victims having to make the tough decision to leave the family pet behind. Her combined experience as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, animal shelter volunteer and Senior Attorney with the National District Attorney’s Association training on child abuse issues; assisted her linking violence to people and animals and how to house families with pets after violence. Allie developed and implemented trainings to prosecutors and criminal justice professionals. She later joined the American Humane Association, where she launched the SAF-T Program. Allie is presently the Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse and also the Deputy Director for the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse.
The HOPE Center’s SAF-T Kennel Program opened in November 2012 and assists the cats and dogs of our domestic violence shelter guests. We are proudly one of three shelters in the state of Pennsylvania to offer this unique service. A domestic violence survivor staying in our shelter can access the SAF-T Kennel as the goal is to keep the “family” unit together and safe. The owner provides for the pet(s) at an on-site kennel during the course of their shelter stay by continuing to care for their pet as they did prior to coming to the HOPE Center. The HOPE Center and the SAF-T Kennel Program rely on the generous support received from the community. Items such as dog and cat food, food dishes, leashes, collars, pet beds, pet shampoo, toys and other supplies a pet may need to help “start over” when coming to a new place. Shelter guests often come in with just the clothes on their backs because of having to leave in a hurry, so are in need of many daily items we take for granted.
Please help support HOPE’s SAF-T Kennel Program. We are always in need of the pet supplies listed above to help the families start over.
Another way you can support the cause is to attend our –
3rd Annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk & Costume Parade –
The Dog Walk is being held Saturday, October 4th at 130 Townsend Park Ct., Murrysville, PA 15668
The fun will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be held rain or shine. You can pre-register for a discount and goodies at www.www.akhopecenter.org by September 20th. You will still be able to register the day of the event.
There will be raffle tickets and refreshments available for purchase and the opportunity to win raffle prizes and get people and doggie massages! Bring your dog dressed in its finest Halloween costume for a chance to win one of the best costume prizes after the parade.
Please pass the word to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, church groups, community groups, sport teams and help support this great cause. It’s a wonderful way to spend part of a day with people and animals you care about!
Get talking…blog about how much your pet means to you?