A San Diego Safety Net Now Spreading Across the Country
“The words ‘Safe’ and ‘House’ should be synonymous,” says Rancho Coastal Humane Society President Jim Silveira. “But abusers come as husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, children, and roommates. Rancho Coastal Humane Society created the Animal Safehouse Program in 1997. This month, we’re launching ASP on a national level. By providing a safety net for the animal victims of domestic abuse we’re giving human victims an escape route.”
Through ASP the victims of domestic violence can leave knowing that their pets will be cared for. When possible the pets are reunited with their owners. When that’s not possible, the pets are matched with new families through the pet adoption program at Rancho Coastal Humane Society.
The Animal Safehouse Program started by Rancho Coastal Humane Society is, literally, saving lives. When human victims enter shelters their dogs or cats can be cared for in the private homes of ASP volunteers. Silveira says, “For the first time since the first beating, the victims realize that they can escape without leaving their pets to pay the price.”
Do the animal victims of domestic violence recover? Silveira says they do. “When the pets arrive they’ve been beaten, abused, neglected, or starved. Once they realize they’re safe their tails wag. The happy purrs begin. Usually all it takes is someone who cares. Someone who will love them and tend to their needs without having to endure another beating.”
Silveira concludes, “When we take these animals into our homes we are making the same commitments that we make to the humans in our lives. We agree to provide for them and protect them. But when domestic violence threatens to harm this fiber of society, Animal Safehouse is here to help. And now Rancho Coastal Humane Society is spreading the ASP safety net across the country.”
For more information about the Animal Safehouse Program created by Rancho Coastal Humane Society or to learn how you can help start an ASP program anywhere in the United States log on to www.sdpets.org, call 760-753-6413, or visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, CA.