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Las Vegas-area foster owners sought for violence victims’ pets

SafeNest and The Animal Foundation are partnering to find foster homes for animals in homes with domestic violence in an effort to keep the family, including the four-legged members, safe.

The partnership was announced jointly last week in preparation for an open house Thursday. The Animal Foundation is looking for residents interested in fostering a dog or cat for up to five months.

A statement from the partners says, “65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to leave their abuser because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave and 71 percent of victims report their pets are also being abused.”

The two groups hope to encourage people who call the SafeNest hotline because they are victims of domestic violence to disclose they have an animal they’d like to remove from the home as well. The Animal Foundation will provide the vaccinations, veterinary care and food to a foster parent who can care for the animal while the victim gets help.

“If you love animals you will not only help save the life of an animal, but also help reassure a woman or man going through this in a domestic violence relationship,” said Laurie Cody, vice president of communication and marketing for SafeNest.

“Knowing their pets are taken care of in a safe, loving place helps them with a recovery as well.”

A similar partnership exists between Shade Tree, a shelter for woman and children suffering from violence, and Noah’s Animal House, which sits on its property and protects the animals of families who come to Shade Tree. Noah’s Animal House has been on Shade Tree property since 2007.

Residents do not need any “special skills” to foster for The Animal Foundation. The only requirement is to be 18 or older and have a stable environment.

“Every time we can keep someone and their pet together, the fewer animals we can put in a shelter,” said Animal Foundation communication manager Kelly Leahy. “We’re looking for people who can provide patience, time and dedication.”

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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