"in my heart, i think a woman has two choices: either she's a feminist or a masochist" --gloria steinem

"the main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything . . . or nothing." --lady nancy astor

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

helping women help themselves

I recently read about the Animal Safehouse Program in Rancho County and began to research programs locally because I know we have a need for such a resource in Brevard county.

I am currently working to establish a foster network for pets of women fleeing domestic abuse, in transitional housing/shelters/etc. I hope to link up with local animal shelters, and have scheduled a couple appointments at the SPCA and Humane Society shelthers in Melbourne and Titusville. I would like to provide neuter/spay services and eventually etablish a fund to pay for vet bills, pet deposits, etc.Extensive discussions with the domestic violence advocacy community have established a strong need for such services. Many women stay in violent situations because they don't want to leave their animals behind. Clear links have been established between domestic violence and animal abuse and abusers often use pets as tools of control in abusive situations. This service could remove the final barrier to a woman escaping her abuser. Fostering the pets of women in crisis as they try to create better lives for themselves and their children is another step to ensure successful transitions.

I am trying to identify potential foster homes, preferably in Brevard County, but anywhere in the Central Florida area to start. If you know anyone or you are willing to potentially foster animals for the program, email me at I am in the very early stages, but feel that identifying potential fosters is a first step. Of course there would be a screening process and specific guidelines, but we are starting out, so for now I just want to identify interested parties. If you can provide any resources, input, or know of similar programs (I have contacted the SPCA F.A.I.T.H program coordinator), please share! Any feedback is appreciated.