Pet Safekeeping Program

Pet Safekeeping Program

Did you know...

  • 59 per cent of abuse victims who have animals delay leaving out of concern for their animals
  • 36 per cent of abuse victims with animals reported that their abuser threatened or harmed their animals, and 85 per cent of threats were carried out
  • 85 per cent of victims with both children and animals reported that the children witnessed the threat or harm to the animals: in 50 per cent of those cases, it was the child’s own pet that was threatened or harmed

For many victims of intimate partner violence, their relationship to their pet is the strongest positive connection with another living being. In abusive relationships, pets are often targeted by the abusive partner, threatened or killed in order to exert power and maintain control over the victim. As emergency shelters are often unable to accommodate pets, many victims delay leaving an abusive situation out of fear for what might happen to their pet. 

You can help
Humane Services is looking for individuals able to provide loving and caring foster homes for pets of residents who find themselves in an emergency situation.  

If you feel you are able to be a foster a pet in need, complete the application form. Once you submit the form a staff person from Humane Services will be in touch to set up a home visit and talk with you about what it means to foster an animal from an abusive home.
Are you a victim of intimate partner violence?
If you are staying in your home because you are worried about what might happen to your pet if you leave, the Pet Safe Keeping program can help. Pet Safe Keeping is a joint initiative of the City of St. John's, the Iris Kirby House and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

Requests for emergency shelter for a pet will be received by Humane Services from partner organizations such as RNC and the Iris Kirby House. Individuals requesting temporary pet accommodations must be a resident of St. John’s. Upon receiving requests, Humane Services will make arrangements to admit and secure pets. 

Emergency Situations: Contact the Intimate Partner Violence Unit of the RNC by calling 911.

Non Emergency Assistance: 709-729-8000

General Advice: Contact Intimate Partner Violence Unit at or call 709-729-8093 (number is not monitored 24/7).

Iris Kirby House, St. John's: call 709-753-1492 or for more information visit their website.