OKLAHOMA CITY — The OK Humane Animal Advocacy Program, a collaboration between the Oklahoma Humane Society and the Palomar Family Justice Center, has strengthened its ability to help animals affected by domestic violence with the addition of Purina’s Animal Care Center, a facility of six kennels that will serve as an emergency shelter for the pets of people with an immediate need to escape a dangerous domestic situation
Purina’s Animal Care Center was funded by a Safe Housing Grant from RedRover.org, as well as a PetSmart Preserving Families Grant.
Purina provides free food to animals in the care of the animal welfare program. The location of the kennel structure is housed in a secret location, to ensure the utmost security and anonymity of human and animal victims.
The primary benefit of Purina’s Animal Advocacy Program and Animal Care Center for voters is the removal of barriers to leaving a dangerous situation that are due to concern that a pet is left over.
Victims can focus on creating a plan to improve their lives without worrying about what will happen to their pets. In the meantime, their pets will receive proper veterinary care, as well as food and shelter until they can be reunited with their owners.
The Purina Animal Care Center will serve as an emergency interim safe space for pets until a temporary foster home is found.
The Animal Advocacy Program is committed to reunification (if that’s what the client wants) and will offer assistance with pet depots for safe housing, as well as assistance with the pet pantry companionship and veterinary assistance after reunification, funding permitting.
“Part of Purina’s mission is to create a better world for pets and the people who love their pets. We don’t just do this through the pet food and care products we make. We try to do this through community involvement and by filling in gaps and needs,” said Joe Maliszewski, Purina Plant Manager in Oklahoma.
“We never want anyone to stay in an abusive situation because they can’t bring their whole family with them, and we recognize that pets are part of the family,” Maliszewski continued. “It has been an honor to work with the Animal Advocacy Program and we are thrilled that the Purina Animal Care Center is helping fill the gap to this need in our community.”
The Oklahoma Humane Society is Oklahoma’s largest animal rescue and is entirely donor-funded and foster-based.
As an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit organization not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States, OK Humane receives no government funding or taxes.
“Abusers realize the emotional connection between victims and their pets and use it as a means of exerting coercive control over their victims, often threatening violence against the family pet,” said Dana McCrory, President and CEO of OK Humane.
“Because pets are often the only source of emotional support for victims of domestic violence, they may also be at risk of abuse. There are limited resources in the state to alleviate a victim’s concern for their pet as she concentrates on escaping from a dangerous situation.
“With considerations such as shelters not allowing pets, insufficient funds for pet deposits when a victim tries to build a new life, concern for beloved pets can be a crushing obstacle to escape,” McCrory added. “We are thrilled that Purina Animal Care Center can now offer a quick emergency solution for victims who need to flee immediately.”
Visit okhumane.org to learn more. If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact Palomar Family Justice Center:
Main Line: 405-552-1010
Text line: 405-355-3556
Email: [email protected]
Walk-in address: 1140 N. Hudson Ave.
24/7 Oklahoma Safeline: 1-800-522-7233 (SAFE)