In an effort to try and make it easier for those looking to get away from a dangerous situation, the Crossroads Resource Centre and Women’s Shelter in Fairview is looking at ways it can go pet-friendly.
“We really came to the realization in July when we were getting an extra amount of phone calls if we were pet-friendly and could they bring their pets,” says Executive Director Wendy Biegel. “If we don’t take the pets we are just creating one more barrier for the women not to leave the abusive situation.”
Biegel says soon after that initial breakthrough, the board of directors began discussing in earnest about ways to make it happen. She says that includes asking the surrounding area at large to lend a hand when possible.
“We’re looking at partnering with people in the community to become foster families for pets. We actually had a board member that did help us foster last September.”
Biegel says a recent study shows approximately 1 in 8 Canadian women who experience family violence also experience threats of or actual pet abuse.
Odyssey House in Grande Prairie is also taking steps in a similar direction.
“We’ve actually just started a subcommittee here at the shelter to more specifically into this,” says Odyssey House Executive Director Ebony Rempel. “We did put on our website that both in the emergency shelter and second stage shelter that pets are allowed.”
Rempel says they will also be looking for local residents to take in any pets which won’t be suitable for the shelter.