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.


Oxon & Berks local pet refuge services

Area covered: Oxfordshire, Berkshire

Tel: 07871 480038

Email: petrefuge@hotmail.com


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

Email: pawsprotect@cats.org.uk

Website: cats.org.uk


Dogs Trust — Freedom Project


Free and confidential Dog Fostering Service for people fleeing domestic abuse.


Area covered: Greater London & the Home Counties (Hertfordshire, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire), Yorkshire, the North East of England, Scotland.


  • Tel: 0800 298 9199 (London & Home Counties)
  • Tel: 0800 083 4322 (Yorkshire)
  • Tel: 0300 303 3497 (North East)
  • Tel: 0808 169 4315 (Scotland)

Email: freedomproject@dogstrust.org.uk

Website: moretodogstrust.org.uk/freedom-project

More information: Dogs Trust Freedom Project leaflet


Endeavour (formerly Paws for Kids)

Area covered: Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, North Cheshire

Tel: 01204 698 999

Email: info@pawsforkids.org.uk

Website: Paws for Kids


The Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare

Area covered: Kent and Sussex

Tel: 01825 880478

Email: epollitt@raystede.org

Website: raystede.org


Pet fostering, Central & North East London

Tel: 020 8805 6330

Email: animals@rspcacentrallondon.org.uk

Website: rspcacentrallondon.org.uk/adopting-and-fostering


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


Animal Samaritans

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

Website: animalsamaritans.org.uk


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