ENCINITAS–Domestic violence victims with pets face different circumstances. Pets left behind are likely to become the new victims.
Rather than make their pets the targets, human victims stay. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Animal Safehouse Program (ASP) at Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) is the safety net for the animal victims of domestic violence.
Since 1997 the Animal Safehouse Program has been working with police, social services, friends, and families to provide a safe haven. Once victims know that their pets are safe, they can escape with their children, and (in some cases) their lives.
When possible, ASP reunites pets with owners. When that’s not possible, the pets enter Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s Adoption program.
The words ‘Safe’ and ‘House’ should have the same meaning. But abusers can be husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, children, and roommates. Domestic Violence victims often lack the funds to leave or a safe place to go.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women 15 to 44.
- Three to four million women in America are beaten in their homes each year.
- One fourth of the women in America will experience domestic violence.
Battering occurs in all races, ages, socio-economic classes, religions, occupations, and education levels. Battering is almost never an isolated incident. Once someone batters, they’re going to do it again and it’s going to get worse.
When domestic violence threatens to harm the fiber of society, the Animal Safehouse Program is here to help. There really are no other programs like it.
It’s a safety net for the animals and a lifeline that domestic violence victims need to escape.
For more information about the Animal Safehouse Program created by Rancho Coastal Humane Society, visit www.sdpets.org, call (760) 753-6413, or visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas.