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OKC Friday: Oklahoma Humane Society, Palomar Partner To Help Animals Impacted By Domestic Violence

By Rose Lane
Published: February 25, 2022

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With none other like it in the nation, the Oklahoma Humane Society’s Animal AQdvocate Program is working with Palomar: Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center, to serve the human and the animal victims of domestic violence.
Humane Society Animal Advocate Brittany Crow said the program began in October 2018.
“We are the first program of our kind in the nation to work out of a family justice center,” Crow said. “We work on-site at Palomar to meet with victims, assess their needs and provide on demand crisis services.
“We can provide temporary foster placement for a client’s animals (furry, feathered, farm, reptilian, aquatic, you name it) while they work to secure safe housing amidst fleeing domestic violence.”
She said there is an on-site pet pantry where clients can get any supplies needed for the care of their animals, including food, crates, collars/leashes, toys, preventatives and much more.
OK Humane also offers veterinary and pet deposit assistance, as well as support in reporting animal abuse to law enforcement.
Advocacy in legal pet-related matters, such as including animals on protective orders is another service.
Statistics indicate that 89 percent of women who had companion animals during an abusive relationship reported that their animals were threatened, harmed or killed by their partner. Crow said up to 65 percent of domestic violence survivors said that they delayed leaving a dangerous situation out of fear for their pet.
“We at the Animal Advocacy Program never want the concern about a victim’s pets to be a barrier for them to leave and seek safety from an abuser, which is exactly why our program came to fruition,” Crow said.
The program recently opened a structure which has six kennel spaces to house animals immediately. This allows clients to get into safe shelters and out of dangerous situations quickly, without having to wait for secure foster placement for their animals first, Crow said.
Last year, the Animal Advocacy Program served 249 people and 518 animals, she said.
“We would love to reach more people that may be in need of our services, but may not be aware our program exists,” Crow said.
The organization also hopes to communicate with people who would like to help by fostering and providing temporary safe shelter to these affected animals or by donating to the program.
For more information, visit okhumane.org/programs/advocacy.