Animals are against abuse


Any donations made to the Animal Advocacy Program will go towards clients’ pets affected by domestic violence.

Gracie Holden, North Staff Writer

An exciting new advocacy program was recently announced by The Central Oklahoma Humane Society. The program, co-created by Paloma OKC, was developed as a way to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse to seek safety and support without risking their safety or putting their pets lives at stake.

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a woman is abused every nine seconds in America and one out of four women have reported domestic abuse. As many as 71% of domestic abuse victims have delineated that their abuser has killed, harmed or threatened to put a pet’s life in jeopardy. Everything that these abusers do is a way for them to wield control and power over their victim.

Countless women have spoken out about their abuse stories; however, when their pet is threatened, it becomes harder to seek help. Through this program, people have the ability to take care of these animals. The Humane Society is currently looking for kind and spirited animal lovers who are able to open their homes to provide a healthy and happy environment for these animals until the owners can free themselves from their contemporaneous situation.  

“There has been a need for animal sheltering for domestic abuse for a long time now, and thankfully, shelters across the US are starting to pop up that allow animals on-site or they have some sort of fostering program set-up so that victims don’t have to leave their pets at home with their abuser,” Case Manager and Care Coordinator Elizabeth Stoverink said. “I believe once victims of domestic violence know that they no longer have to choose between escaping their abusive situation without their pet or staying in the situation with their pet, they will begin to seek help and be open to temporarily fostering their pet within the program.”

The Humane Society has already had ten animals enter the program for temporary fostering. Not only does this program help victims, but it also helps the animals as well. Sadly, only 12% of shelters in the US have these types of accommodations for pets. The Animal Advocacy Program is the first in the nation for having this type of program set-up in a family justice center, and many are hoping others will follow in this amazing opportunity for victims to seek help.

On average, foster care is a three-month-long commitment. However, the time fostering these pets could vary due to the owner’s current situation. Everything is case by case, as each situation is unprecedented. It may take one victim two months to recover and get back on their feet, while it may take another victim eight months to do the same.

There will be a fundraiser on May 18th at Palomar called “Making Leaving Pawsible.” This event is free to attend and has activities such as a pet costume contest, local pet vendors, live music and more. If you are interested in this opportunity to foster and feel your home is a good fit for these animals, fill out an inquiry form at or email Elizabeth Stoverink at [email protected].

Contact Gracie Holden at [email protected]