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New services at CCN for domestic violence victims and their companion animals

October 2021

Crisis Center North, in conjunction with CCN’s award-winning, nationally recognized PAWS for Empowerment animal advocacy program, has been selected as one of five national recipients of the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Emergency & Transitional Pet Shelter & Housing Assistance Grant Program.

Beginning October 2021, and continuing through September 2024, the three-year, $493,637 federal grant will offer CCN financial support for shelter and transitional housing and other assistance to DV survivors and their companion animals. Given that an estimated 40 percent of all victims will not leave an abusive situation if a pet is left behind, the grant will eliminate this barrier by offering victims safe harbor for both small and large animals.

“It has been my goal, since 2011, to make the case of the battered pet,” expressed CCN executive director, Grace Coleman.

“Given that 85 million individuals own a pet in the United States and many victims will not leave a pet behind, this grant is removing obstacles that keep the living entities at both end of the leash safe from harm,” Coleman furthered.

Specifically, OVC funding will provide CCN with two fully funded pet-friendly units in the Domestic Violence-Unified Project Rapid Re-Housing Program (DV-UP RRH), as well as economic empowerment initiatives. Funding will also support CCN’s case management program to distribute resources to victims with companion animals, such as pet stipends, veterinary care costs, relocation funds, and emergency hotel stays for victims.

According to a 2015, Harris poll, 95%of owners think of their companion animals as a member of the family.

“Given how Americans view their animals as family, our organization needed to provide innovative solutions for victims that do not include leaving anyone behind,” stated Coleman.