The Queensland Government has announced a further $200,000 in funding for the Pets in Crisis program enabling more Queenslanders fleeing domestic violence to keep their pets safe.
The program, a partnership between the RSPCA and DVConnect, currently cares for around 300 animals each year, the additional funding will provide places for over 240 more pets.
Shannon Fentiman, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women, and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, said the program was vital in protecting women and children.
“Pets are often used as part of coercive and controlling behaviour, with perpetrators threatening pets to control and intimidate their partner and children.
“Providing safe and emergency accommodation for pets, gives victims greater comfort that they can leave the dangerous situation they are facing.”
Fentiman said it is incredibly sad that not only are families inflicted with fear, intimidation, and harm, but their pets are also subjected to violence, which is why some of the funding will go towards veterinary services.
“Victims can reach out to DVConnect which liaises with the RSPCA to find temporary accommodation for pets at either an RSPCA shelter or with trained foster carers.
“This is such important work undertaken by these organisations – for those seeking refuge from violent homes this could be the additional support that provides peace of mind to escape a life-threatening situation.”
Darren Maier, CEO of RSPCA Queensland, said animals in the program stay on average about a month with RSPCA staff or carers, equating to 4000 care days annually, plus veterinary expenses.
“Additional funding is certainly welcomed so we can continue to offer pets a safe haven and provide their owners with reassurance their beloved companions will be well cared for during their time of need.”