San Luis Obispo County residents seeking to escape intimate partner violence and abusive environments will now have a safe space for their cats and dogs at the RISE Atascadero shelter.
A row of kennels was provided to the nonprofit through a $3,000 grant from Sacramento-based RedRover, a national nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance and support for victims of domestic violence to safely escape abusive situations with their pets.
Statistics show that abusive environments are perilous for pets. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 70 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their batterer had injured, killed, or threatened family pets for revenge or psychological control and as many as 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets when they leave.
But according to RISE, only a fraction of the 2,500 domestic violence shelters in the U.S. report having the ability to house animals onsite.
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Though grant funding purchased the kennels, RISE is in need of additional donations in order to provide families with ongoing pet-care basics such as pet food, bowls, grooming products, cleaning supplies, and other items needed for pets staying at the shelter.