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Pets Soon to Be Welcomed at a Maine Domestic Violence Shelter


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RedRover is teaming up with Rescue Rebuild, a program of GreaterGood.org, to help transform Safe Voices into a pet-friendly domestic violence shelter.

RedRover

Safe Voices will become the first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in Maine, according to the Purple Leash Project and GreaterGood.org, which provided $40,000 in grants to make the transformation happen. Safe Voices serves the Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

The Purple Leash Project is a partnership between RedRover and Purina, the pet care division of Nestlé S.A. in St. Louis. The goal is to ensure there is at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in every state by the end of 2020. Only five states remain: Hawaii, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Currently, about 10 percent of domestic violence shelters in the United States allow pets, according to group officials.

“RedRover is excited to help Safe Voices become a safe haven for pets with The Purple Leash project grant,” said Nicole Forsyth, president and CEO of RedRover. “This partnership with Purina enables us to give grants to more domestic violence shelters, enabling more survivors and their pets to escape abuse together.”

RedRover is teaming up with Rescue Rebuild, a program of GreaterGood.org, to help transform Safe Voices into a pet-friendly domestic violence shelter. Rescue Rebuild repairs and renovates domestic violence shelters and animal shelters in need.

This is the sixth time RedRover and Rescue Rebuild have partnered together to transform a domestic violence shelter. The build at Safe Voices also marks a milestone for RedRover as the organization’s 100th Safe Housing grant recipient, according to officials.

“Building spaces for domestic violence survivors and their pets brings victims, both two and four-legged, one step closer to recovering and reclaiming their lives,” said Bryna Donnelly, director of Rescue Rebuild. “It is going to take an army to ensure that no victim is ever left with no safe place to go.”

RedRover also supports domestic violence shelters by sending their volunteers to help drive Rescue Rebuild’s projects, designs and construction expertise. Over five days, the combined team will install fencing for a dog play yard, pour new sidewalk, build dog kennels, install dog waste station and doggy doors, create cat enrichment projects such as cat bridges and cat shelving. A volunteer team from Purina will also join the effort.

“We know abusers will often use threats of harm or actual violence toward animals to control their partners,” said Elise Johansen, executive director of Safe Voices. “Concern for the safety of a beloved family pet may prevent a victim from leaving an abusive situation all together. Making our shelter space more accessible for people with pets allows us to help more families in need.”

 

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