MARYVILLE, Mo. — North Star Advocacy Center has been awarded a Safe Housing grant from RedRover, an organization focused on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the human-animal bond through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education.
According to a news release, RedRover awarded more than $240,000 in grants to domestic violence and animal shelters in early December. North Star received $5,340 to upgrade three bedrooms with the installation of pet-friendly vinyl flooring.
“This will make a huge difference to victims seeking safety,” said Linda Mattson, executive director at North Star. “Many victims choose to stay in an abusive situation rather than leave their loved pet. Now they don’t have to choose between their pet and safety.”
While the center has allowed victims to bring their pets into the shelter for more than 10 years, the upgrade quadruples its capacity to house animals and allow anyone seeking shelter at North Star to bring their pet with them into any area of the shelter.
According to research conducted by Dr. Frank Ascione, as many as 71 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters report their abuser injured, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or psychological control, noted the release. Additionally, up to 48 percent of domestic violence victims reported delaying leaving their abusers because they feared what would happen to their pets.
“The link between domestic violence and animal abuse is undeniable,” said Nicole Forsyth, RedRover president and CEO. “Too often survivors will not leave an abusive relationship if they cannot find a domestic violence shelter that accepts pets. Our grants allow these shelters to create pet-friendly spaces so that no one ever has to choose between their safety and their pet.”
The company and partner Purina have set a goal to have at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in each state. Currently only Hawaii and Rhode Island are the remaining states without one.
For more information or to seek help contact the center at 660-562-2320.