HCN News & Notes

Second Chance Launches Pilot Program for Domestic-violence Survivors and Their Pets

EAST BROOKFIELD — Second Chance Animal Services announced the launch of Project Keep Me, a groundbreaking pilot program aimed at addressing the critical need for companion-pet shelter resources for survivors of domestic violence. This program will provide temporary housing for the beloved pets of domestic-violence survivors, enabling pet owners to seek safe housing arrangements while ensuring the well-being of their animal companions.

The unfortunate reality in our area is that emergency housing resources for survivors of domestic violence often cannot accommodate their companion animal. As a result, many victims find themselves trapped in dangerous living situations, afraid to leave their pets behind. Recognizing this pressing issue, Second Chance has developed Project Keep Me as a compassionate solution to help break this cycle of fear and abuse.

Project Keep Me will offer a safe haven for pets, including shelter, food, and medical care, if needed, during the transitional period when their owners are seeking temporary, safe housing arrangements. By alleviating the distressing choice between personal safety and the well-being of their cherished pets, this program aims to empower survivors to prioritize their own safety without compromising the welfare of their furry companions.

Second Chance’s Project Keep Me will offer temporary boarding and care, lasting up to 90 days, for pets whose owners are seeking support from domestic-violence assistance programs. Upon successful transition to safe, permanent housing, survivors will be reunited with their pets. The emotional and psychological benefits of this reunion cannot be overstated, as the presence of a beloved animal companion has been proven to enhance healing and recovery for individuals who have experienced trauma.

“We are thrilled to launch the pilot of Project Keep Me,” said Sheryl Blancato, Second Chance CEO. “We are offering the program on a limited basis at this time as we establish relationships with local domestic-violence resource providers who ensure pet owners have the support they need. We are committed to removing the barriers that prevent individuals from seeking safety and support and firmly believe that everyone deserves a second chance, both survivors and their animal companions.”

Blancato notes that the program has some limitations. “We can’t take in aggressive animals, and we have limited space at this time, but we are committed to helping as many as we can. We have already assisted several pet owners, but we are seeking additional funding so we can help more as the need arises.”

Second Chance Animal Services invites the community, businesses, and philanthropic partners to support Project Keep Me through donations. “Together, we can make a meaningful impact in the lives of domestic-violence survivors and their pets, providing hope and safety when it is needed most,” Blancato said.

For more information about Project Keep Me and how to help, visit www.secondchanceanimals.org/project-keep-me.