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Pet fostering scheme to be launched to reduce domestic violence
9:42am Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
A PET fostering scheme will be launched in Colchester to help battered wives get away from their abusive partners.
Experts from the Colchester and Tendring Women’s Refuge claim many victims of domestic violence remain at home because they don’t want to abandon their beloved pets.
So a new pet fostering scheme is being worked out so partners and their pets do not have to suffer.
Ann Taylor, director of the refuge, said: “One of the threats perpetrators make to make victims stay is they will kill or harm the pets and it does happen.
“We used to take pets to Mistley Farm Park but we had to stop and we can’t take them in so some people won’t leave.
“So a pet fostering scheme could make all the difference.
“It is terrible when we get a call and we have to say we can’t take the pets so they don’t leave.”
Colchester Council and the community safety partnership are working with the RSPCA and Dogs’ Trust among others to come up with a scheme which works.
The aim is to find animal loving families in Colchester who can take on a pet for a period of time.
It is hoped the victim of the domestic violence will be able to escape with their pets who will be picked up by someone running the scheme and taken to a loving home.
Once the victim is then settled somewhere else the pet will be returned.
Tim Young, councillor responsible for community safety, said: “It makes perfect sense if you really think about it.
“It is not something I had thought about but I found out about the problem through the refuge.
“There was some money available through a Jubilee fund which I have agreed can be used.
“We are very keen to get this up and running and this could be absolutely vital.
“It is a big step to leave a violent relationship so anything we can do to help them we should.
“People love their pets and they have to be taken into consideration.”
Nick Alston, police and crime commissioner for Essex, has made tackling domestic violence one of his top priorities and is backing the project.
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