When Pets are Victims
CASA has established an initiative to expand their new 100-bed domestic violence shelter to include a kennel and veterinary care, so that pets may join their owners in finding sanctuary from violent abusers. Fundraising for this on-site kennel has now begun so that survivors and their children will not be forced to choose between themselves and the safety of their pets. Donations will be accepted both by CASA’s fundraising staff at (727) 895-4912 and online at www.casa-stpete.org/shelter.
“Pets are often silent victims of domestic violence,” says Shandra Riffey, CASA’s Assistant Executive Director. “They may even be used by abusers as a way to establish power and control over their victims. Can you imagine living with a violent partner who threatens to harm your pet if you ever leave them? People often ask, ‘Why didn’t she leave him?’ Well, this is often the reason, and it is a travesty.”
The vitally needed kennel and related pet-services at CASA’s new shelter will cost an estimated $75,000, a small price in order to save the lives of hundreds of pets and pet owners. The current statistics are troubling: while 71% of pet owners entering domestic violence shelters reported that their batterer threatened, injured, or killed family pets, 52% of victims in shelters had to leave their pets behind. With the community’s financial and technical support, however, CASA will change these statistics and bring peace and safety to those most in need of protection.
Donations to fund the kennel may be made to CASA online at www.casa-stpete.org/shelter, by phone at (727) 895-4912, or by sending a check to P.O. Box 414, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 with “Kennel” in the memo line. The public is also encouraged to contact John Biesinger at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CASA, Community Action Stops Abuse, has been providing lifesaving services to women, men, and children living with domestic violence since 1977. For more than 35 years, the community has relied on CASA to provide a safe refuge, crisis intervention, advocacy, prevention, professional training, outreach, and community education to end domestic violence and bring hope, independence and peace to families in southern Pinellas county.
CASA’s vision is a community without domestic violence so that home is a safe place. CASA’s mission is to raise our voices against violence through advocacy, empowerment and social change.
Mailing Address: PO Box 414, St. Petersburg, FL 33731
Assistant Executive Director, CASA