A Safety Net for Pets and a Lifeline for Human Victims of Domestic Violence.

Domestic violence is very personal. Nobody wants to believe that it can happen to them. They don’t know what to do, who to tell, or where to go. When there are children or pets involved, the decision to escape is even more difficult. That’s where the Animal Safehouse Program (ASP) at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) helps.

Since 1997, our program has been serving this community and the victims of domestic violence. We have helped thousands of people and their pets with the resources to help keep them together. More recently, the program started assisting military veterans who need help with their pets while undergoing treatment through the VA system.

ASP Director Justina Kirkland gives an example of how ASP helped a domestic violence survivor.  “Janis contacted the Animal Safehouse Program shortly after Christmas, looking for safe shelter for her eight-year-old cat, Tango. Janis was in a dangerous situation and was seeking safety from her abuser. Unfortunately, cats are not allowed in San Diego human shelters.”

Justina says that Janis had already suffered so much loss. “She had to give up her home and her possessions. She couldn’t fathom also having to relinquish her best friend in her search for safety.”

Janis and Tango participated in the Animal Safehouse Program for 90 days. While Tango was being cared for by our staff, Janis established a new, safe home for her twin daughters, Tango, and herself.

“With the efforts of RCHS and our partnering human resource programs, Janis was ultimately able to gain independence and reunite with Tango.” In addition, during Tango’s stay, this beloved cat was treated for dental issues and an infection. He received flea treatment, a registered microchip, a cat carrier, cat food, a litter box, litter, and some cat toys to play with in his new home.

Our cost to care for Tango was $2,300. It’s an investment that’s breaking the chain of violence for this family. An investment that saves lives!

Many of us know a domestic violence victim or military veteran who could use the services of the Animal Safehouse Program. Learn how you can help. Visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to www.sdpets.org. Click on “Programs” then “Animal Safehouse Program.”