Safe Voices awarded $20,000 to build emergency pet-friendly housing for survivors – Daily Bulldog

Safe Voices’ new emergency domestic violence shelter in Franklin County will be pet-friendly, thanks in part to a $20,000 grant from RedRover. Photo by Grace Kendall/Safe Voices

FARMINGTON – Safe Voices has been awarded a $20,000 Safe Housing grant from national nonprofit animal welfare organization RedRover to ensure the agency’s newest emergency domestic violence shelter will be pet-friendly. The new shelter, which will begin accepting residents in early 2023, is located in Farmington. It is the only domestic violence shelter serving this rural and underserved area, and being equipped to welcome pets makes it much more accessible to survivors.

“Safe Voices knows the power of animals to help people heal, and it is so important to us to ensure that survivors who enter our shelter are able to do so with the pet they know, love and that she will provide comfort,” said Safe Voices director of Shelter & Housing Noelle Coyne. “These animals have often been victims of abuse from abusers, so having a pet-friendly shelter is not only good for survivors — it’s also the safest for pets — and we’re so thankful to be working with RedRover because they all understand.”

Pets and Domestic Violence:

– As many as 71% of pet-owning women who enter domestic violence shelters report that their abuser has injured, killed or endangered pets.

– Up to 48% of domestic violence victims reported putting off their abusers for fear of what would happen if they had to leave their pets behind.

– Currently, only 15% of domestic violence shelters nationwide can house pets.

Safe Voices’ Androscoggin County shelter became the first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in the state of Maine in 2019, thanks in part to another RedRover grant. With this latest $20,000 grant, Safe Voices’ new Franklin County location will create four pet-friendly rooms equipped with specialty pet furniture, which will have direct access to a fenced outdoor playtime area and pet lighting. The shelter will be able to house cats, dogs, fish, small mammals and “pockets” (hamsters, mice and rats).

RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth said, “Pets are family and a source of great comfort in times of crisis. We are thrilled that our Safe Voices grant can help provide space for survivors and their beloved pets so that they can live together. to begin their healing process.

Since its inception in 2012, RedRover has awarded more than $3 million in safe housing grants nationwide.

Safe Voices is a domestic violence and sex trafficking information center serving survivors in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties. Last year, the agency worked with more than 2,000 unique survivors in these counties to help them build a safety plan, access shelter, work with legal and civil attorneys, and resolve emerging crises, as well as the lingering long-term effects of domestic violence and sex trafficking. The agency has been doing this work in Maine since 1977.

Safe Voices has free, anonymous and confidential support services that can be accessed on their website at If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please contact emergency services.

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