Target: Urban Resource Institute
Goal: Thank domestic violence shelter for being the first in New York City to allow pets
Many women struggling with domestic violence are forced to make the painful decision of choosing between themselves and their pets. This, of course, is in addition to an already traumatic and abusive experience. Domestic violence shelters across the country have only recently begun allowing pets. New York’s first was recently established, and for keeping families together when it counts it deserves our praise.
Urban Resource Institute has been a significant resource for victims of domestic violence in New York since 1980. Over the course of the last several years they began allowing cats and small pets, such as hamsters, but recently started accepting dogs as well, making it the first domestic violence shelter in New York to welcome pets. They will also be providing veterinary and other help from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and a donation from Purina PetCare Co. for a dog run on the property.
Links between animal cruelty and family abuse have raised a great deal of awareness about both and how often they come into contact with each other. Nearly half the states in the U.S. have even started allowing pets to be included in protective orders, and many more are considering it. Studies performed by the ASPCA have found that roughly 70 percent of domestic violence survivors say their pets were also threatened, injured or killed, and between 25 and 50 percent say they were afraid to leave because of what might happen to the animals if they left them behind.
Please take a moment to sign the petition below and thank Urban Resource Institute for keeping pets and their loved ones together in difficult times. Allowing someone fleeing from domestic violence to keep their pet not only protects the life of the animal, it eases the burden of such a traumatic experience for those who have been abused.
Dear Urban Resource Institute,
During the past year you have gradually allowed cats and other small pets to live with the victims of domestic violence you provide shelter for. Recently, you made an exception for dogs as well. Pets are often victims in a violent home and many people will continue to endure abuse out of fear of what might happen to the animal if they leave them behind.
Thank you for providing the first domestic violence shelter in New York that allows pets. Now women throughout the city will be able to remain with their loved ones during such a difficult and traumatic transition.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ninha Morandini via Flickr