No one should have to choose between their safety and their pet. A new endeavor for 180 is our ability to offer pet-friendly rooms and spaces within our shelter so that our families are not forced to choose between staying in a dangerous situation and leaving their pet behind. 180 was awarded grants from Bayer, The Lydia Collins DeForest Foundation, and The Red Rover Foundation to help 180 provide a safe place for domestic violence victims and their pets at our shelter. These grants are enabling us to outfit our property with pet-friendly rooms, allergen-free living spaces, as well as appropriate fencing and designated, safe play areas in order to ensure a safe environment for all families. In addition to these private grants, generous donations from philanthropic individuals within the Monmouth County community are supporting our pet-friendly Safe House and providing the operational resources such as pet food, play items and veterinary support.

Because abusers are often violent towards animals and use the family pet to assert control and manipulate, individuals trying to flee domestic violence are hesitant to leave their pet behind for fear of what the abuser will do to the animal. Nationwide studies indicate that nearly half of abused women stay in their abusive relationships out of concern for the welfare of their beloved pet. Most domestic violence shelters can not accommodate pets on-site, forcing abuse victims to choose between staying in an abusive relationship and leaving their pet with the abuser. 180 Turning Lives Around is proud to be the first safe house in New Jersey to offer shelter for survivors and their pets.

“We recognize the deep bond that our families share with their pets,” said Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director of 180 Turning Lives Around. “Opening our Safe House doors to pets will save more lives as it removes a potential barrier for an individual escaping domestic violence. No one should have to choose between their safety and their pet.”

For more information about our Safe House and 180’s many life saving and life changing programs, please call our anonymous and confidential hotline: 888-843-9262.