Pilot program in Newfoundland city to target pets in abusive homes

By on January 6, 2015


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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The city of St. John’s, N.L., says it plans on launching a pilot program to house pets who belong to victims of domestic violence.

The city’s animal care and control committee says information they have received from police says that pets are often targeted by the abusive partner in a violent domestic relationship.

They say since emergency shelters are unable to accommodate pets, many victims delay leaving an abusive situation out of fear for their pet.

Committee spokesman Ron Ellsworth says details of the pilot program are currently being worked out, but it would be a foster-based program and would not put any additional pressure on city facilities.

Ellsworth says the program, which is expected to launch this summer, may eventually be extended beyond victims of domestic violence.

He says the program could later target seniors who are concerned about leaving their home to go to a health care facility for a short stay because of their pets.