A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Women’s Crisis Center opens a pet Companion Kennel in Maysville to shelter pets through transition

Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) recently opened Companion Kennel in Maysville with the support and partnership of RedRover® and PetSmart Charities. The kennel will help to keep more pets safe and healthy as their pet parents’ transition to safe housing in Northern Kentucky and Maysville.

The WCC Pet Protection Program was developed to remove a barrier for victims of domestic violence entering the WCC Shelter. This program and Companion Kennel, which serves all WCC shelters and is built on-site at the WCC Maysville shelter, will provide immediate safety for the often-overlooked member of a family fleeing abuse. Pets are often abused, neglected or abandoned by the abusive partner. This fear will often trap a family in an unsafe home for longer than necessary. Through the Pet Protection Program, pets are cared for in a safe environment and receive updated vaccinations. Other health needs are addressed including spaying/neutering if requested by the owner. When the family leaves the WCC shelter the pets are returned. Pet Packs are provided that include the basic needs of each pet and all services are free.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, as many as 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets when they leave. According to Sheltering Animals and Families Together (SAF-T), a national initiative that guides family violence shelters on how to welcome families with pets, only a fraction of the 2,500 domestic violence shelters in the United States report having the ability to house animals onsite.

“For those of us who have pets, we know they aren’t just animals to us, they are members of our family. Through WCC’s Pet Protection Program we offer safety for every member of our family, including our beloved pet. We are so grateful to PetSmart Charities for this grant, which will allow us to continue serving not only all of the brave survivors that walk through our doors, but their pet family as well. This grant and our Pet Protection Program are crucial to the 13 counties we serve throughout Kentucky as we work hard to keep survivors and their pets safe,” said Christy Burch, Executive Director of Women’s Crisis Center.

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