Can you foster a dog whose owner is fleeing domestic abuse?
- Credit: Richard Murgatroyd
Dogs Trust have made an appeal to Norfolk animal-lovers to help dog owners who are fleeing domestic abuse.
The Freedom Project is a pet fostering scheme run by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, which offers a lifeline for dog owners who are escaping domestic abuse.
The project provides foster homes for dogs and enables survivors to access safe accommodation without the fear of what may happen to their dog if they cannot take them with them.
Now the project urgently need foster carers from across the county to support the vital service.
Sarah Rowe, Freedom Project coordinator for East Anglia at Dogs Trust said: “It has become clear that a dedicated pet fostering service is needed in East Anglia to support people and their pets fleeing domestic abuse.
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“By establishing a specialist pet fostering service in this area, we can help dog owners in East Anglia find refuge away from their abusive perpetrator, without worrying what will happen to their beloved pet.
“To do this we urgently need the animal loving public of East Anglia to come forward to volunteer as foster carers.
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“As lockdown restrictions began to lift, we saw demand for our services increase and in August we fostered a record number of dogs on the project.
“It is more important than ever that we can continue to provide our services and we urgently need volunteers to help us support people and their pets when they need it most.”
Dogs Trust research found that nearly half (49pc) of professionals working in the sector were aware of domestic abuse cases where a pet had been killed.
As part of the project, Dogs Trust is looking for volunteers who are at home during the day, potentially people who are retired or work from home.
They must have some experience of caring for dogs, have their own garden or access to a communal garden, and be able to commit to fostering a dog for at least 6 months.
Involvement in fostering through the project is always kept completely confidential to protect both the dogs and the foster carers.
For more information on the service visit www.dogstrustfreedomproject.org.uk or call 0808 196 6240.