Partnership helps women and pets - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Partnership helps domestic violence victims and their pets

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Humans aren't always the only victims of domestic violence. Now a local partnership is helping protect victims of domestic violence as well as their pets.

The partnership between The Center for Women and Families and The Kentucky Humane Society is designed to make sure victims of domestic violence don't have to leave their pets in abusive homes.

"I think a lot of folks only get the top layers of what happens," said Marta Miranda, President and CEO of The Center for Women and Families.

After nearly 40 years of working with victims of domestic violence, Miranda says has seen some things that would make you cry. 

"We have had dogs with throats cut, dogs killed," Miranda said.

Miranda also says a lot of victims will stay in abusive homes rather than seeking help from The Center for Women and Families -- mostly out of fear of what might happen to their children and pets.

"So you're not going to leave your children or your pets knowing that they're going to be abused," Miranda said.

That's why The Center for Women and Families and the Kentucky Humane Society created the Safe Haven Program.

"We keep the pet for 24, 48, 72 hours -- whatever is needed," Miranda said.

That's where the Kentucky Humane Society steps in.

"We've been able to save a lot of animals this way and to help a lot of victims leave abusive relationships," said Andrea Blair with The Kentucky Humane Society.

Once the pets are stable, the Humane Society finds them temporary homes.

"We will update them on their shots, make sure they're in good shape and then we will put them in a foster home," Blair said.

And there are usually sad eyes all the way around; that's why the goal is always to reunite the pets with their owners.

"When the victim is ready to rebuild her life, she hasn't lost the animal, the children haven't lost the animal, she has her family as in tack as possible; that's huge for a family," Miranda said.

The animals can stay in the foster homes for several months if needed. There is even a program that helps with adoption, if that's necessary.

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