“I don’t know how I got into this situation, all of a sudden I had to escape my home and I had nobody. I would have lost my pets if it were not for the Pet Safekeeping Program. I cannot express how grateful I am; thank you for everything.”

When victims of domestic violence seek to escape their abusive homes they’re not only faced with the challenge of finding shelter for themselves and their children, but also for their pets.

In a 2012 report released by the SPCA, results showed that:
• 59% of abused women with animals were afraid to seek help out of concern for their animals;
• 36% of abused women with animals reported that their abuser threatened or harmed their animals;
• 85% of threats against animals were carried out;
• In cases that involved children as well as threatened animals, 85% of women reported that the children witnessed the threat or harm to the animal;
• In half of those cases, it was the child’s own pet.
(Alberta SPCA, Pet Safekeeping Program Overview, 2017)

Therefore, AASAP was formed. Alberta SPCA and Shelters throughout Alberta work with various agencies and volunteers to provide safety for individuals fleeing domestic violence. Individuals needing the Pet Safekeeping Program must be referred by a recognized service agency or professional that will be acting as the pet owner’s representative. Once accepted into the program, pets are given veterinary checkups and vaccinations as well as any needed treatments. This program is free of charge to our clients.

The Pet Safekeeping Program has grown exponentially in the few years its been in service. From the east to west and northern to southern parts of the province individuals fleeing abuse can receive assistance. But the growth is also in that the word has spread and those considering leaving an abuser know that they can keep their beloved pet safe too. We provide a take home package for clients after their stay. Should you wish to donate to the program we are looking for the following:
• Giftcards to Superstore – provide special dietary requirement foods, etc
• Giftcards to purchase – New: Pet Toys, Pet Beds, Litterboxes, Pet Carriers, etc.

AASAP consists of representatives from the following organizations:

A Safe Place Women’s Shelter
Alberta Association of Animal Health Technologists
Alberta Human Services
Alberta SPCA
Alberta Veterinary Medical Association
Centre for Public Legal Education of Alberta
Edmonton Animal Care & Control Centre
Edmonton Humane Society
Edmonton Police Service
Edmonton Women’s Shelter Ltd. (WIN House)
Red Deer and District

Our agency partners are a vital component in the success of this program.