Pets in Crisis temporary housing program for pets of victims escaping violence expands to Bunbury, Busselton

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Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
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A foster-care program for pets of people fleeing family and domestic violence has been expanded to help victims in the South West and Great Southern.

RSPCA’s Pets in Crisis program places the animals with short-term foster families in confidential locations, allowing for victims to focus on fleeing the violent situation with peace of mind that their pets will be safe.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk announced the $1 million boost for the program into the South West and Great Southern last week, with the expanded program to service Bunbury and Busselton.

While the program most commonly cares for dogs, it has granted a safer future for a wide variety of companion animals from chickens to a pair of rainbow lorikeets.

Ms McGurk said the program ensured animals were protected and encouraged women experiencing family and domestic violence to seek help.

RSPCA WA chair Lynne Bradshaw said there was a clear need for the program in regional WA.

“Domestic violence affects all family members, including pets,” she said.

“RSPCA WA is aware of the increased number of calls in the region from refuges looking to support their clients who are pet owners, and from women themselves who refuse to leave a violent situation unless they can take their pets with them.

“Pets in Crisis not only gives human victims peace of mind about their animals, it also provides a safe haven for the pets of violent households, who are often abused or threatened with abuse.”

The expansion coincides with the 16 Days in WA campaign, which runs until December 10 to encourage the community to push for change to stop violence against women.

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