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OK Humane Society partners with Purina for domestic violence animal shelter

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Humane Society’s Animal Advocacy Program recently partnered with Purina for an Animal Care Center, a six-kennel structure that will serve as emergency sheltering for pets of those currently fleeing an unsafe domestic situation.

The kennel is housed at an undisclosed location, to ensure the utmost safety and anonymity for both human and animal victims.

The goal is the elimination of barriers to leaving an unsafe situation that are due to concern for a pet being left behind. Victims are able to focus on creating a plan to better their lives without worrying about what will happen to their pets.

“Abusers realize the emotional bond between victims and their pets and use that as a way to assert coercive control over their victims, often threatening violence to the family pet,” said Dana McCrory, OK Humane’s President & CEO. “With pets often being the only source of emotional support for victims of domestic violence, they can be at risk for abuse as well. There are limited resources in the state to alleviate a victim’s worry for their pet while they are focusing on fleeing an unsafe situation. With considerations such as shelters not allowing pets, to inadequate funds for pet deposits when a victim is attempting to build a new life, the concern for beloved pets can be an overwhelming hindrance to fleeing. We are thrilled that Purina’s Animal Care Center can now offer an expedient emergency solution for victims who need to flee immediately.”

While victims work on beginning anew, their pets will receive appropriate veterinary care, and food and shelter until they can be reunited with their owners.

Purina’s Animal Care Center will serve as an emergency interim safe space for pets until a temporary foster home is secured.

Purina provides food free-of-charge for animals in the care of the Animal Advocacy Program.

“Part of the mission of Purina is to make a better world for pets and people who love their pets. We don’t just do that through the food and the pet care products we make. We try to do that through community involvement and filling gaps and filling needs,” said Joe Maliszewski, Purina’s Oklahoma Factory Manager. “We never want someone to stay in an abusive situation because they can’t bring their entire family with them, and we recognize that pets are part of the family. It’s been an honor to work with the Animal Advocacy Program and we are excited that Purina’s Animal Care Center will help close the gap on this need in our community.”

OK Humane’s Animal Advocacy Program is committed to reunification (if that is what the client wants), and will offer assistance with pet deposits for safe housing, as well as pet pantry assistance and veterinary assistance after reunification, as funding allows.

Purina’s Animal Care Center was funded by a safe housing grant from RedRover.org, as well as a PetSmart Preserving Families grant.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please contact Palomar Family Justice Center:
Mainline: 405-552-1010
Text Line: 405-355-3556
E-mail: help@palomarokc.org
Walk In Address: 1140 N. Hudson Ave.
24/7 Oklahoma Safeline: 1-800-522-7233 (SAFE)

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