ASN Program Helps Survivors of Domestic Violence By Providing Shelter for Family Pets
Monadnock Humane Society received the second ever donation made by 100+Women Who Care-Cheshire County. The $9,700 award comes to support an MHS’ program that helps domestic violence victims find safety for the family pet. MHS’ Animal Safety Network fills a critical gap in our community’s response to reducing domestic violence. Nearly half of the victims who stay in violent households do so because they are afraid for their animals. The Animal Safety Network (ASN) provides temporary housing for pets, taking them out of harm’s way. By providing free shelter and care for the pet, ASN helps survivors leave abusive homes and go to a safe house without the fear that their pet will be left in a potentially dangerous environment.
Monadnock Humane Society’s Executive Director, Kathy Collinsworth made the presentation to 100+ Women Who Care at their February 6, 2017. According to Collinsworth, “The money we received from 100+Women Who Care-Cheshire County, will allow us to offer free emergency boarding, and necessary veterinary care for animals involved in domestic violence situations. Our local domestic violence shelter is not set up to house animals at this time. This’ll give some peace of mind to neighbors who are struggling through some very tough times.”
Violence against the family pet is often an indicator of similar behavior throughout the family system. Children who are victims of violence at home, whether physical, verbal, or sexual, are more likely to abuse pets. Victims often jeopardize their own safety and stay with a batterer to protect the animals in their family. Studies show that up to 48% of victims seeking shelter at a crisis center reported that they delayed leaving a dangerous situation because they feared for the safety of their animals and knew of no safe place to take them.
Receiving a donation from 100+Women Who Care-Cheshire County is a signal honor. The group meets four times a year and is based on the simple concept of bringing women together to make a larger impact on our community. Three local nonprofit groups make presentations and then a vote is held to determine which would receive the support of the group for that meeting. Each member writes a check for a minimum of $50 to the nonprofit organization that received the most votes.
Says group founder Jane Shapiro on the 100+ Women Who Care-Cheshire County website, “[The group] is one of more than 400 giving circles associated with the 100 Who Care Alliance, all of whom are dedicated to making a difference in their local communities.” In order to be considered for donations, an organization should be a 501(c)(3) non-profit and have a strong presence in Cheshire County and serve Keene and/or the surrounding towns. Learn more about them at https://100pluswomencheshirecounty.com
Monadnock Humane Society’s mission is to foster a compassionate community by promoting and providing for the well-being of animals. Located in Swanzey, NH, the one hundred-forty-two-year-old organization has been a consistent voice fighting domestic violence since its inception. The ASN program is just one of many ways that MHS supports people and companion animals throughout the Monadnock region. To learn more about MHS, visit our website at www.monadnockhumanesociety.org .