AWI Awards First “Safe Havens for Pets” Grants

In connection with the launch of our Safe Havens for Pets Grant Program, AWI is pleased to announce that the first grants have been awarded.

photo by disq
photo by disq

Since 2011, AWI has operated the Safe Havens for Pets Project (formerly the Safe Havens Mapping Project), a one-of-a-kind, searchable directory of sheltering services for pets of domestic violence survivors. The Safe Havens for Pets Grant Program was designed to help promote the development of critical services in communities that lack sufficient resources. After an internal assessment identified regions of North Dakota and Mississippi where pet-related resources for domestic violence survivors were few and far between, we invited organizations in those communities to apply for grants of up to $20,000. 

In North Dakota, a Safe Havens for Pets grant was awarded to Fargo’s Rape and Abuse Crisis Center. The funding will be used to establish a volunteer foster program for pets of domestic violence survivors, defray the cost of veterinary care, assist with pet-related safety planning, and conduct community outreach and education on the relationship between domestic violence and animal cruelty. 

In Mississippi, a grant was awarded to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society in partnership with SAFE, Inc., a local domestic violence shelter. Funding will be used to create and equip a pet-safe space at the SAFE, Inc. shelter in Tupelo, transport companion animals to temporary shelter at the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, recruit foster families, coordinate visits between survivors and their pets, fund veterinary care, and cross-train staff at both organizations. “This program allows us to offer immediate shelter, counseling, safety planning, and continued support to survivors and their pets, fostering a safe and supportive environment for healing,” said Rebekah Reed of SAFE, Inc.

Providing domestic violence survivors with pet-friendly services and shelter is an essential step in addressing barriers to safety. With these Safe Havens for Pets grants and future funding opportunities, AWI is encouraging the development of vital resources in communities that most need them. 

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