Guelph Humane Society recently received a $13,500 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada, one of the nation’s leading funders of animal welfare and the human animal bond.

When women and their families are experiencing domestic violence, having a pet can add an extra layer of complexity and concern. Domestic violence and animal abuse often co-occur. Yet, very few domestic violence shelters in Canada allow pets, so many women leaving abuse face a difficult choice – stay in a violent home to take care of their animals or leave them behind.

With the help of this new grant, Guelph Humane Society, in collaboration with Community Veterinary Outreach (CVO) and Women in Crisis (WIC), is able to offer an innovative Pets in Transition Program.

The new program provides confidential foster care for the pets of women fleeing from violent situations for up to three months – thereby helping survivors and their companion animals to find a safe haven away from abuse.

This unique program supports women experiencing abuse by making sure that everyone in the home, both human and animal, has a safe place to escape to, stay and begin to heal.

The Guelph Humane Society takes in pets and places them with foster caregivers who have undergone specialized training in caring for animals who may have experienced violence. Thanks to the generosity of PetSmart Charities, the program will also provide everyday pet care items and services like high-quality pet food and preventative and emergency veterinary care if required.

“We are very appreciative to PetSmart Charities of Canada for their generous grant. With their support, we can help ensure that those leaving domestic violence as well as their pets are kept safe. The Pets in Transition program helps bring comfort to families by knowing that their pets are well-cared for and loved, so that they can focus on their recovery and healing, with the assurance that they will be re- united once again,” said Lisa Veit, Associate Director, Guelph Humane Society.

“At PetSmart Charities of Canada, we believe in the importance of preserving the human-animal bond, no matter what life challenges or circumstances pet parents may be facing,” says Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager at the organization. “Thanks to the leadership of the Guelph Humane Society and its partners, women in the Guelph region can rest assured that they and their pets can escape abuse together and begin to heal side by side.”

Pet retention is just one of PetSmart Charities of Canada’s seven grant categories. Funding from PetSmart Charities of Canada supports animal welfare organizations and non-profits committed to reducing pet homelessness and enhancing the human-animal bond. For more information, visit www.PetSmartCharities.ca.