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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Schmitz

Introducing The New Minnesota Pet Foster Coalition!


Become a pet foster today! Foster a dog or cat for a victim-survivor of domestic violence while they find safety from abuse.

The Minnesota Pet Foster Coalition is a new partnership between The Bond Between, Animal Humane Society, Women's Advocates, Cornerstone, Tubman, and Four Winds Connections. 


The new Minnesota Pet Foster Coalition aims to keep victim-survivors of domestic violence and their pets safe through an emergency foster care program. Nearly half of all domestic violence victim-survivors remain in abusive situations rather than leave their pets behind {Source: https://redrover.org/the-purple-leash-project/}.


"We often hear from victim-survivors that they are wanting to leave an abusive situation but are concerned for the safety/wellbeing of their pets. Knowing there is immediate care available, even for a short period, can make all the difference in the world." ~ Cornerstone's Day One Minnesota Alliance for Family & Animal Safety program


What is the mission of the coalition?


The mission of the MN Pet Foster Coalition is to break the cycle of abuse and eliminate barriers that prevent individuals from seeking safety in shelters by providing a comprehensive solution for the care of their pets.


Victim-survivors often stay in abusive situations if they do not have a safe place for their pets. The MN Pet Foster Coalition aims to support them by finding temporary foster homes for their pets while they find safety.

“When you’re going through something very traumatic like that, your pet kind of becomes your safety net. I knew I couldn’t leave them there because I was afraid {my abuser} would hold that against me and abuse them and do something to manipulate the situation so I’d come back” -victim-survivor of domestic abuse


There is a critical gap in services across Minnesota for pet owners who are experiencing domestic violence. This is why providers Women’s Advocates, Cornerstone, and Tubman are joining forces with animal welfare organizations The Bond Between, Four Winds Connections, and Animal Humane Society to create the Minnesota Pet Foster Coalition. Together, we will expand temporary pet housing services to those staying in an emergency shelter at Women’s Advocates, Cornerstone, or Tubman. “It’s really important to have safe spaces for animals; it helps reduce barriers for women who need to access shelter and housing," says Holly Henning, Executive Director at Women's Advocates.


The Bond Between and Animal Humane Society provide food, veterinary care, and any items needed to care for the pet free of charge. Four Winds Connection offers free training and behavioral support.


“One of our goals at The Bond Between is to keep people and pets together. We want to make fostering accessible to everybody. We provide all supplies, anything you would need—baby gates, crates, bowls, leashes—anything you can think of.” Carrie Openshaw, Director of Community Outreach at The Bond Between.


How can I help the MN Pet Foster Coalition with this new initiative?


The greatest need is volunteer foster homes to keep victim-survivors' pets safe while their owners get help from one of the domestic violence shelters involved in the coalition. Fostering options include short-term (up to 72 hours) or long-term (up to 90 days). Transport volunteers are also needed to help move animals and supplies throughout the fostering process. Members of the community wanting to make a difference as a volunteer foster can apply here.

 


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