Foster homes needed for pets with owners impacted by domestic violence

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Foster homes are needed heading into the holiday season to help animals and their owners impacted by domestic violence.

Rescue One, a foster-based animal rescue in Springfield, started the SafePet Program to help find temporary shelter for pets while their owner finds safe housing.

Rescue One Board President, Ellen Dowdy, said animal abuse is present in many domestic violence cases.

“Partnering with the Greene County Family Justice Center and Harmony House with fostering animals for women that are victims of domestic violence, so they can leave their home and have that security to know that their pets are safe, while they are seeking assistance for new housing,” Dowdy said.

Dowdy said they have already seen how much the need is there for the program after it officially started back in June.

“We have taken in 17 animals for women,” Dowdy said. “That might be multiple animals from one home, or a single, and dogs and cats.”
She said it’s not possible without people being willing to foster the animals for two weeks to two months max.

“Our thought process is if it’s increasing now, it could potentially increase more in the holidays, which is a stressful season for a lot of families,” Dowdy said. “We are working to maybe secure a few more foster homes to be ready and waiting to take in the animals.”

Those interested in fostering, Dowdy said, commit to taking care of the animal as if it was one of their own. That is until the animal can be reunited with its original family.

“There have been some tears shed when they’re finally able to have their pet back in a safe place,” Dowdy said.

She said anyone going through a domestic violence situation and maybe needing somewhere for their animal to go, should first reach out to either the Greene County Family Justice Center or Harmony House.

Dowdy said anyone interested in fostering for the program should submit a foster application on rescueonespringfield.com. They are asked to write in the comment section that they want to participate in the SafePet program.

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