A growing body of research demonstrates that animal abuse and interpersonal violence are closely linked. A recent survey by the Saskatchewan SPCA showed that concern for the safety of family pets and livestock has an impact on the decision making of individuals leaving situations involving domestic violence. Over 77% of respondents reported knowing at least one individual who did not leave an abusive relationship due to concern for the care and safekeeping of their animals.
Building on the survey results, the Saskatchewan SPCA is developing a ne Animal Safekeeping Program to launch in 2017. The goal is to improve access to the resources that will help improve the safety of persons fleeing domestic violence, and their animals.
Involvement from the animal welfare and human resources sectors is vital to the success of the Animal Safekeeping Program. STOPS to Violence, the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services, the Ministry of Justice, Victims Services, the public and the SVMA have been invited to participate in a steering committee being established to oversee the development and operation of this program.
The Saskatchewan SPCA is hiring a new full-time staff person to focus on this program. Tha Animal Safekeeping Coordinator will:
Funding for the Animal Safekeeping Program has been provided by the Community Initiatives Fund. The Community Initiatives Fund invests in the quality of life of Saskatchewan rsidents by offering grants for community projects that help support community development, inclusion, leadership and vitality.