Safe Havens for Pets

Photo by Photo by Ali Siraj
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What are safe havens for pets?
Safe havens for pets are sheltering services available to help individuals experiencing domestic violence place their companion animals out of harm's way so that they may seek safety for themselves. The Safe Havens for Pets directory was established by AWI in 2011 to help people connect with these resources.

Safe havens operate differently from one community to another. They may involve networks of foster homes or partnerships with local kennels, animal shelters, or veterinarians. Some domestic violence shelters may house survivors and their pets together in the same room, while others provide on-site kennels. Safe havens can be independent nonprofit organizations or formal partnerships between animal welfare and human service agencies. Specific arrangements, including length of stay and visitation options, vary from one safe haven to another. In all cases, the pet’s location should be highly guarded in order to protect the pets and their family members.

Where are they?
Until AWI established the Safe Havens for Pets Project in 2011 (originally as “Safe Havens Mapping Project”), only partial listings of safe havens for pets were available. AWI and the Safe Havens for Pets project addressed this gap with the development of a comprehensive state-by-state directory of sheltering services for pets of domestic violence survivors. The entities included are subject to ongoing refinement, and the latest date of reverification is indicated.

Additional Resources

Funding for safe haven pet programs
AWI has identified a number of funding sources for those needing a safe place for companion animals or those interested in developing a safe haven program in their community. There may be other sources of funding not listed here; if you are aware of additional resources, please contact AWI at [email protected] to add them to this list.

Funding opportunities for starting or maintaining a Safe Haven for Pets of domestic violence survivors:

Funding to assist animal shelters that partner with a domestic violence organization:

Funding sources for domestic violence survivors who have to relinquish their pets:

Funding opportunities for veterinarians:

How can my community start one?
The manner in which safe havens for pets develop depends upon the capacity and needs of the local community. For a comprehensive review of how to start a safe haven for pets, please visit Don't Forget the Pets or review these Safe Havens for Pets Guidelines.

Submit a Safe Haven for the directory
Please join our efforts to provide an accurate directory of safe havens for pets. If you are aware of a safe haven for pets program that should be included, or if you spot an error in any of the listings, please contact AWI at [email protected] and provide as much information as possible. Your help is integral in maintaining the Safe Havens for Pets directory.