Animal Safehouse

ASP_logo_FinalAnimal Safehouse Program – Helping to break the cycle of violence by keeping pets and people safe

Know the Connection

Domestic violence is any form of violence, upon any member of the household. Abuse can take many forms including insults, threats, controlling behavior and physical harm.

In the majority of American households, school age children and companion animals are part of the family. A family member who is often overlooked is the family pet. Abusive individuals will threaten, injure or kill pets to control, humiliate, punish or silence their partners, parents or children.

Break the Cycle

Created in 1997, the award winning Animal Safehouse Program (ASP) was the third program of its kind in the nation. Our life-saving program is committed to breaking the cycle of violence.

Victims of domestic violence and their children will often stay with a batterer because they fear their pet will be neglected, injured or killed if left behind. Concern for a beloved companion animal’s welfare prevents or delays more than 50% of battered individuals from escaping domestic abuse, continuing to endanger themselves their children and their pets. Our program provides a support service to domestic violence shelters which are unable to accept pets. We provide temporary shelter for the pets of victims of domestic violence, allowing battered individuals to escape abuse and seek safety. Because of this assistance, no one is forced to choose between abandoning a beloved pet and staying in an abusive relationship. With help from our Animal Safehouse Program, survivors and their children can seek shelter, medical treatment and counseling, knowing their pets are safe.

We actively collaborate with domestic violence shelters, the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, city and municipal animal shelters, the San Diego Family Justice Center, San Diego Domestic Violence Response Teams, social services, mental health services, law-enforcement, educational facilities, Military and many other agencies and individuals who want to eradicate abuse and help break the cycle of family violence.

Make a Difference

Help us to break the cycle of abuse of people and animals. Survivors of abuse leave with nothing more than their children, pets and a few personal belongings. Paying for the kind of services we provide (boarding, care, special living spaces, special diets, extra socialization, vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery and emergency medical attention) is beyond their means. Our staff and volunteers freely give extra TLC to each one of these sweet animals who deserve and need special care.

We help to keep families and their pets together. Once a victim becomes a survivor, finding a living situation with their animals becomes another challenge. We created a guide to pet friendly rentals in San Diego and information on renting with companion animals. We give our animal survivors “New Beginning” gifts of food, treats, bedding, kennels and toys when they are reunited with their families. We can’t do all of this alone — we need your help! We rely on the generosity of private donors, grants, funding events, foster homes and volunteers to support our Animal Safehouse Program.

Would you like to make a difference and truly transform the lives of abused individuals, their children and their companion animals? You can!

Sponsor an animal from an abusive home by making a donation to the Animal Safehouse “Transform a Life” Program. Your donations will go directly to helping an innocent animal victim of violence. Please earmark your donations for the “Transform a Life” Animal Safehouse Program. To donate online using PayPal, please click here.

Volunteer at Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

Become a foster volunteer. Open your heart and home to the companion animals in our Animal Safehouse Program.

Your compassion provides the abused individual with peace of mind, knowing their animals are safe, and gives them the time to seek counseling, develop new personal and professional skills and increase self esteem and independence.

Learn more about the link between child abuse, domestic violence, and animal abuse. Read Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse: Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention by Frank Ascione and Phil Arkow (Editors). This collection of essays is available in Paperback or Hardcover Edition.

Or, check out Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence: Readings in Research and Application by Randall Lockwood and Frank Ascione (Editors). (Paperback or Hardcover)

Become a part of the solution! Take animal abuse seriously and report it. Your actions may not only help the animal, but may also identify a person in need of help. Intervention can prevent the escalation of abuse.

Speak out against all abuse and encourage anyone who has seen abuse or who is being abused to call for help.

Work together against violence and promote awareness of the link between animal cruelty and violence to humans and how community members can help. Call the Animal Safehouse Program at (760)-753-6476 to arrange a presentation.

Where to Call for Help

To report a life-threatening emergency: 911

If you are a victim of or a witness to abuse please call any of the following numbers (if you aren’t sure which one is the right one, just call any of them, they will be able to help you):

Community Resource Center Domestic Violence Hotline (760) 633-1111 or 1-800-633-1112

San Diego Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-888-DV-LINKS (1-888-385-4657)

San Diego YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-619-234-3164

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-888-799-7233)

San Diego Family Justice Center:1-866-933-HOPE (1-866-933-4673)

Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-344-6000

Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-510-2020

Sexual Abuse Hotline: 1-888-272-1767

To report animal abuse in the San Diego region:

County of San Diego Department of Animal Services: North County: 760-236-4250 or Central County: 619-236-4250

San Diego Humane Society and SPCA:619-299-7012 ext. 222

North County Humane Society:760-757-4357