Monday, January 22, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Start of Pet Safe Keeping Program

black white and tan cat lying on a bed

Today, City of St. John's Humane Services in partnership with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Iris Kirby House announced the start of the Pet Safe Keeping Program, with volunteers now in place to foster pets that are owned by victims of intimate partner violence. 
“Thank you to St. John’s residents who answered our call for animal foster care homes,” said Mayor Danny Breen. “Providing emergency accommodations for pets will enable victims of intimate partner violence to access supports they need without fear of leaving their pet behind. I encourage any resident that is able to temporarily foster a pet to contact the City to sign up for this program.”
Decision-making to leave an abusive situation is negatively impacted by the presence of a pet. Victims may delay leaving an abusive situation out of fear for what might happen to their animal. 
“Many victims of intimate partner violence are reluctant to leave their home and seek help if it means that their pet is left behind,” said Chief Joseph Boland, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. “The Pet Safe Keeping Program will help these victims leave abusive partners by providing temporary care and housing for their pets. Enhancing response to intimate partner violence is a priority for the RNC and this program will offer a much needed safe alternative to many who feel trapped in abusive relationships.”
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.
“The Pet Safe Keeping program will make the difficult decision to leave just a little less stressful for pet owners,” said Michelle Greene, Executive Director of the Iris Kirby House. “Pets are so important to people, those of us who dearly love our pets can understand what a great step this is for the women and children we serve.”
Upon receiving requests, Humane Services will make arrangements to admit and secure pets. The application form for residents who are able to foster a pet (for up to 30 days) is available on the City’s website.
Media Contacts
Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's

Cst. Geoff Higdon
Media Relations Officer
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

Michelle Greene
Executive Director
Iris Kirby House