Protecting people and their pets in times of crisis
Recent studies have shown that nearly 48% of surveyed victims delayed leaving an abusive relationship for fear of pet safety. In another study, approximately 71% of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets(1).
Two years ago, three women came together with a vision of creating a world in which victims of violence do not have to sacrifice their own safety for that of their pets.
Thus, Ashley, Patrice, and Ingrid created the Minnesota Association for Pets in Crisis (MNAPC), a non-profit organization that specializes in providing housing and care to pets belonging to victims of domestic violence with the goal of ultimately reuniting pets with their families.
While there are many barriers in place that make it difficult for victims of domestic violence to leave their relationship, it is not yet widely recognized that pets play a significant role in whether or not victims seek refuge. To make matters worse, only 3% of domestic violence shelters allow pets, many of which only accept registered service animals(2). The goal of MNMAPC is to create a network of fosters who can provide temporary housing and care to these animals while their families work to become safe and re-established. During that time, these pets will be living with an anonymous, loving family where they will be properly cared for and will receive necessary veterinary care.
Clearly, there’s a lot to be done, and we’re just getting started. Building a non-profit from the ground up is expensive -- in addition to the typical start up costs, we ultimately will be resourcing the food as well as providing medical care (i.e. vaccinations, spaying and neutering, heart worm and flea/tick preventatives, routine medical care, emergency services, and chronic illness) and costs required to run a foster program for the pets whose families are in crisis.
Start up costs aren’t sexy -- but they are essential. Please consider volunteering, fostering, spreading the word or making a gift to help get Minnesota Association for Pets in Crisis off the ground and to combat domestic violence by removing the barriers that prevent those affected from seeking safety.