Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $95,207 to help shelter pets whose households are disrupted by family violence.
The U.S. Department of Justice funds were presented to the Humane Society of Shelby County in Columbiana for its Shelby SafePet program.
Since the program was started in 2018, it has spread statewide with the support of volunteers and veterinarians. The pet-care service is offered to victims at no cost.
“These days pets are a part of the family unit, yet their welfare is often forgotten when a family is forced to flee from violent home situations,” said Gov. Ivey. “This program will ensure that, while pets may not accompany their owners to safe shelters, they are properly cared for.”
“Anyone who is familiar with Gov. Ivey know she has a heart for animals and is concerned about their well-being,” said Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, which is administering the grant.
In support of the program, Shelby SafePet cites statistics including these:
- 1 in 4 women experiences domestic violence at some point.
- 71 percent of domestic violence victims say a pet has been threatened, harmed or killed before they sought help.
- 48 percent of victims say they delayed seeking help because they feared for the safety of their pets.