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Be the Change!
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Together we make this world a better place, step by step, paw by paw.
SafePet Ottawa is a caring and dynamic volunteer organization which provides support and foster homes for the companion animals of abused women and their children who need to exit from domestic violence to the safety of a local Violence Against Women (VAW) shelter. It was founded by Ayala Sher in Ottawa, Ontario. The sitting president, Dayna Desmarais, was a recipient of the CBC 2018 Trail Blazer Award, for her work with SafePet. Add video link. The model has been so successful it is now being used by other cities across the country and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA).
The Vital First Step
For many abused women and children the relationship they have with their pets is the most important positive emotional relationship they have in their lives and many often risk their own lives to protect their pet. 48% of abused women in Ontario who should be exiting from situations of domestic violence, delay leaving or don’t leave at all because they fear abuse or death of their pets at the hands of their abuser. 61% of surveyed Ontario women who had left their abusive partner stated that their partners had brutalized or killed a pet. * The program saves two lives, the woman being abused and her pet’s life.
The community pet fosters in the Ottawa area take-in pets belonging to women who are residents of VAW shelters. The pet’s owner and foster identities are kept confidential for the security and well-being of the pet and volunteers. Once the woman leaves the VAW shelter, she is reunited with her pet(s).
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