Pet refuge services
Our pets become members of our family and can make the difference between staying in an abusive relationship and leaving. Animals can become a useful weapon for a perpetrator to maintain control and sadly this means animals suffer to make humans comply. Our message is that where animals are abused, humans are at risk and also the reverse. Here is a great short film from Australia which highlights the issues. It may be on the other side of the world but the same actics are sadly used everywhere:
It may be that the victim needs someone to look after the pet until they are able to find suitable and safe housing or when they have to leave in a hurry. If the victim does want to leave the relationship but has concerns about what will happen to the pet there are services that can help.
Oxfordshire local pet refuge services
Area covered: Oxfordshire, Berkshire
Tel: 07871 480038
Cats Protection — Paws Protect
A cat fostering service for people fleeing domestic abuse which is part of Cats Protection.
Area Covered: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, London, Hertfordshire, Essex, Sussex, Surrey and Kent
Tel: 0345 260 1280
Dogs Trust — Freedom Project
Area covered: Greater London, Hertfordshire, Yorkshire
Tel: 0800 298 9199 (London / Hertfordshire)
Tel: 0800 083 4322 (Yorkshire)
More information: Dogs Trust Freedom Project leaflet
Wood Green Animal Shelters
Areas covered: Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.
Tel 08701 90 40 90
Pet Retreat, RSPCA
Areas covered: Avon, Berkshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, South Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Wales, West Midlands, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, "the north of England"
Tel: 0300 123 8278 or 07715 540812
Mayhew Animal Centre
Pet Refuge scheme that may be able to help care for an animal if the victim finds themself unable to for a limited period of time. With the exception of genuine emergencies, two weeks notice must be given before the pet needs to be cared for.
Area covered: within the M25
Website: Mayhew Animal Centre
Foster carers are available to provide temporary care until a suitable, permanent home can be found.
Area covered: South-East London and North-West Kent
The Links Group
A multi-agency interest group that promotes the welfare and safety of vulnerable children, animals and adults so that they are free from violence and abuse. Members include leading associations and charitable organisations. As part of The Links Group, some charities offer pet fostering services specifically for pets belonging to people fleeing from domestic violence — generally these will be the same charities we list here but the Links Group will be aware of any changes and any new charities offering services.
Website: The Links Group