Downstay is proud to present the HomeSafe Program, a low- or no-cost, confidential long-term fostering service for companion animals belonging to people fleeing domestic abuse in the Western Massachusetts, USA, area.
Most refuges and shelters for victims don't allow pets, which can make some domestic violence victims hesitate to leave. Some victims even choose to stay in a dangerous situation because they are afraid that their abuser will turn on their beloved animal. Research shows that there is a strong relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence. Violent, coersive partners will often threaten or harm an animal belonging to the victim as a form of intimidation.
As part of the HomeSafe Program, Downstay will pick up the animals from a safe location and place the pet or pets with a loving, safe, Downstay-approved foster home. While you get your living situation in order, your pet will receive veterinary care, a warm bed, snacks, and a loving human family.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, including physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse, visit these resources to get help getting your human family members to a safe location. If you're not sure if what you are experiencing as home is "real" domestic violence, please contact these resources anyway. They will be glad to talk to you about your situation.
We couldn't provide this service without the help of our amazing foster families in the surrounding communities. If you love animals, have the time and space, and want to help a family in crisis, think about fostering an animal in need through the HomeSafe program.