Wednesday, September 26, 2012
New Domestic Violence Shelter in North Carolina Opens Soon
Depending on where you live, up to 50% of women will stay in an abusive relationship because they have nowhere to go with their companion pets or live stock animals. They fear for the safety of their pets if they were to leave them behind. In many cases, their pets are also being abused, tortured or even killed.
wbtv.com in North Carolina, recently reported there's a new domestic violence shelter for battered women set to open soon in North Carolina. It will replace a 33 year old cramped facility that only sustained 29 beds.
The new facility is 41k sq. ft., and has 80 beds available. It features 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment style suites. It's reported the shelter is designed to be extra bright, spacious and includes a dining hall, workout room, courtyard, and playground.
The story made no mention of whether or not it was designed to shelter companion animals, let alone live stock, or not. So I called the number for United Family Services listed in the news report, 704.373.1604, only to reach a fax line. I took the next step and looked up the number for United Family Services in North Carolina, 704.332.9034, and asked them if the new facility would shelter companion animals. The woman who answered the phone didn't know. I thought that was rather odd, but she gave me the direct number of the shelter, 704.332.2513, which I called and posed the same question; does the new facility shelter companion animals? The woman who answered the phone at the shelter didn't know either and she tells me to contact Jane Taylor.
At this point, it doesn't look very good for women who need a place to go with their pets, but I take the name of the woman she refers me to and I give her a call. Jane tells me that due to economic issues they don't shelter companion animals on site. They do, however, partner with local animal control and fosters to shelter family pets during the time a family stays at the shelter, often for months at a time. There are times when residents at the domestic violence shelter need a little more time and in a circumstance like that, they rely on foster families to continue the care for the family animals. I was so relieved to hear this news!
Jane stated it's been a very successful program for them. The Animal Control Officers are available to them 24/7. This program allows for entire families to flee as soon as is possible without worry for their pets. Jane mentioned that just recently they did an intake on a family with a dog very late one night. Without any delay, animal control responded at that late hour to take the family dog to safety!
It's outrageous for brand new facilities not to accommodate companion animals or at the very least partner with animal shelters and fosters like this shelter does, to care for the entire family, which includes pets. The statistics stated above come directly from domestic violence shelters across the United States. They are very aware of the need to Shelter Animals and Families Together.
For tips and resources on leaving an abusive relationship for men and women, world wide, click here.
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