For many, human shelters or transitional homes are the first point of contact for someone experiencing domestic violence.
In Ontario, almost half of those experiencing violent situations delay leaving their partner or don’t leave at all because they’re afraid to leave their pet behind at the hands of their abuser. Pets are targeted by abusive parties, in order to control and coerce the human victim. To help people and pets find safety sooner, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association established the SafePet Ontario program in 2003.
SafePet Ontario enables survivors to focus on their transition to safety by offering foster placements for their companion animals. Pets participating in the program will be placed in loving homes with experienced foster families that can provide care targeted to a pet’s needs. Once a survivor has transitioned safely and are ready, SafePet Ontario will reunite them with their beloved pet so that they can move into a better future together.
To support survivors and pets in transition, SafePet Ontario relies on a network of volunteers, including pet foster families, veterinary teams, law enforcement agencies, and human and animal shelters. In addition, through ongoing awareness and education initiatives, cross-sector collaboration, SafePet Ontario continues to build upon its strong, provincial-wide network to support the growing demand of those in need.
By joining the SafePet Ontario network, you can help survivors and their companions live a life free from violence.