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AKC Humane Fund Grants Help Women and Their Pets Escape from Domestic Violence

(Friday, October 26, 2012)

In an effort to end domestic violence and keep pets safe, the AKC Humane Fund awarded grants to eleven different “pets allowed” women’s shelters across the country in honor of October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The recipient shelters in Safford, Arizona; Cabot, Arkansas; Crescent City and Susanville, California; Fort Collins, Colorado; Alpharetta, Georgia; Aurora, Indiana; Spruce Pine and Whiteville, North Carolina; Spearfish, South Dakota and Spokane, Washington allow women and their pets a safe place to escape domestic violence.

“Women entering shelters already face many challenges, and with these grants, leaving a pet doesn’t have to be one of them,” said Dennis B. Sprung, President and CEO of the American Kennel Club. “In these difficult times, having a canine or feline member of the family close by can promote healing and assist women and their families through a big life change.”

Did you know?

  • Between 25-40% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets or livestock should they leave.
  • Nearly half of battered women with pets report they delayed entering a shelter because of concerns for an animal left behind, according to the University of Denver's Institute for Human-Animal Connection. 
  • A recent study found that more than 85 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters talked about pet abuse in their family, and as many as 71 percent of battered women say their pets have been killed, harmed, or threatened by their abusers. 
  • According to Purdue University’s Center for the Human-Animal Bond, contact with animals decreases blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and provides a general sense of well-being.

To donate to make more of these grants possible, visit www.akchumanefund.org, email akchumanefund@akc.org or call 919-233-9767. Shelters interested in funds for operational support or capital improvements related to the housing of pets can download an application at www.akchumanefund.org.