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Pets in Crisis program

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The MAV is pleased to be supporting a new ‘Pets in Crisis’ partnership program focussing on helping women and children escape family violence – with their pets.

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre and Lort Smith Animal Hospital is developing the new program, with support from the RSPCA and MAV. It aims to address the issue of women fearing to leave a violent relationship due to the threats of harm to their pets if they do so, and having no options available to leave with their pets.

Threats and actual violence against pets is commonly used as weapons by perpetrators of family violence to punish and control women and their children.

The Pets in Crisis program will build a framework for a state-wide referral pathway for pets and animals put at risk from family violence.

Women can contact Safe Steps and disclose they have concerns about their pet, or are hesitant about leaving a harmful relationship because they are concerned about being removed from their pet. After doing so, a safe emergency care arrangement is immediately made available.

The MAV is keen to be involved in the development of the program. This is to ensure councils’ local laws and animal management officers have clear referral pathways available in situations where family violence is an issue.

For more information, contact Kellie Nagle.