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RISE now provides shelter for domestic violence victims' pets

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Individuals looking to escape domestic abuse in SLO County will now have a safe place to bring their pets, thanks to a grant from a national nonprofit organization.

RISE announced that it received a $3,000 grant from the Sacramento-based RedRover organization to provide space for animals at its Atascadero emergency shelter.

RISE is a nonprofit that serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and abuse. RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams said that the grant allowed RISE to purchase cat and dog kennels for their emergency shelter, allowing victims seeking shelter to bring along their pets.

"We are committed to providing a safe space for survivors, their children, and their pets to continue their healing journey," Adams said in a June 11 press release.

According the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 70 percent of domestic violence victims own a pet, and an estimated 71 percent of victims have reported that their abuser threatened, injured, or even killed pets. Up to 48 percent of domestic violence victims delay leaving their abuser out of concern for their pets, according to the coalition.

"Offering pet-housing options helps families by removing a barrier to safety and allowing pets and people to escape abuse together," RedRover's website states.

While many domestic violence victims own pets, few shelters are equipped to take in animals. Since 2012, RedRover has provided grants for safe housing for domestic violence victims' pets to 65 shelters across the United States, include RISE's shelter in Atascadero.

While RISE now has a place for pets to stay, Adams said the organization still needs supplies to care for them, including cleaning supplies, food bowls, and other pet care-related products. Individuals interested in donating to RISE can contact the organization at (805) 226-5400 or go to riseslo.org. Δ

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