Originally Published by Bayer U.S.
On this #GivingTuesday, Bayer announces the launch of Grants Fur Families, a new program providing life-saving support to domestic violence shelters across the country who understand the critical role of the human animal bond. Bayer is committed to more widely illustrating the power of the bond people share with their pets, includes providing options for families with pets to live safely, out of fear. This new program will give $10,000 grants to 12 domestic violence shelters throughout the country, providing more destinations for those fleeing physical, mental and emotional abuse with their pets.
While a strong network of domestic violence shelters exists to provide women and children a safe place, there is a significant unmet need existing for families seeking shelter with their pets. Nearly half of abused women stay in their abusive relationships out of concern for the welfare of her beloved pet.1 Nationwide, less than 5 percent of domestic violence shelters can accommodate pets on-site, forcing abuse victims to choose between staying in an abusive relationship and leaving their pet with the abuser. Shelters like Noah’s Animal House offer a solution.
Noah’s Animal House, a non-profit on the grounds of the largest women and children’s shelter in Nevada, has been partnering with Bayer for several years to keep both pets and their people away from the dangers of domestic abuse. Open for more than 10 years, Noah’s Animal House has sheltered more than 1,200 pets for more than 90,000 safe nights, enabling their fur-ever family to live safely.
A client of Noah’s Animal House, Trish, shares her story, “In November of 2009 I was a mess. I found myself divorced, with no job and in an abusive relationship. I was emotionally, physically, spiritually and literary bankrupt. I had some people who said I could stay with them but I couldn’t bring my pets and I wasn’t about to leave them behind – they were the only thing I had left. I was ready to live in my car with them when a counselor suggested that we call Noah’s. It was a lifesaver for me and my babies Arlo, Max & Kitty. They gave me a safe place to fall while I got my life together again.”
“We recognize the deep, life changing bond that people share with their pets,” said Ray Kerins, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Bayer U.S. “We’re humbled and honored to launch Grants Fur Families to help fill the gap that exists for families escaping domestic violence with their pets. We’re also excited that come January, twelve shelters will be able to open their doors to pets. No one should have to choose between their safety and their pet.”
Grants Fur Families is open to all 501(c)(3) domestic violence shelters in good standing with an on-site pet facility or planned on-site pet facility. To apply for a grant or learn more about required criteria, click here. Deadline to apply is December 21, 2018, and recipients will be announced in January 2019.
How can I help raise awareness
There are several ways people across the country can support Grants Fur Families, to support the human animal bond and raise awareness for this important cause. Those interested in this cause can take action by:
- Following @Bayer4Pets on Instagram and Twitter and liking, sharing and tagging your friends/family with the content posted there to help more people understand the need for pet-friendly domestic violence shelters.
- Sharing this information with a local domestic violence shelter in your community and encouraging them to apply.
- Sharing the educational video located on www.petandwomensafety.com on social media channels with the hashtags #GrantsFurFamilies and #GivingTuesday.
Looking for additional resources
The Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (WCS) is a nonprofit organization who understands the importance of the human animal bond, especially in times of fear and change. In addition to recently opening a pet suite at their facility, they also launched the RUSafe app. The app is a free tool, helping to connect users, nationwide, with nearby emergency services, many of which provide help for pets. App features include:
- Free to download
- Agency directory for domestic abuse support services
- Secure journal tool
- Questionnaires to assess safety of relationships
- Links to additional resources about safety and risk
RUSafe can be downloaded here on both iOS and Androiddevices. WCS is providing all domestic violence and women’s shelters who inquire with free RUSafe kits, including additional resources and referral cards.