For Adrienne McBride, Executive Director at the Guelph Humane Society finding new and innovative ways to make an impact for pets in need is always top of mind. “We always want to see what’s innovative, what’s new, what can we do to have a bigger impact or a different impact than what we’re already having.” With the help of a PetSmart Charities grant, Adrienne and the team are able to support victims of domestic violence through their Pets in Transition program.
Studies suggest up to 89 percent of women who have pets and experience domestic violence have reported that their abusers threatened, hurt or killed a family pet. Oftentimes, fear of leaving pets behind has been cited as a reason that many women hesitate to leave an abusive partner. The Pets in Transition program aims to improve the safety of women, their children and their pets.
Through the program, Guelph Humane also hopes to add stability for families who have experienced trauma by allowing them to retain family pets. Research shows that women, children and animals who experience violence in an abusive home develop especially close bonds as they become each other’s primary, and sometimes only, sources of comfort. Knowing the pet is in a safe foster home until a new safe place is secured brings immeasurable comfort and joy upon being reunited.