When women with pets consider fleeing abusive homes, they have very few choices:
- Remain in their homes where they, their children and their pets are subjected to continued violence
- Leave their pets behind, uncertain about their safety
- Choose to separate from their pets and leave them with a friend or family member
It is important to understand the bond between women, children and their pets, and how much joy and comfort they bring. We know that pets provide emotional and psychological benefits by reducing stress, anxiety, loneliness and isolation. They increase women’s ability to handle difficult situations and trauma and are seen as important sources of non-judgmental social support.
With these benefits in mind, and understanding that the lack of animal housing in most VAW shelters in Canada represents a significant barrier to leaving, the team at Interval House of Ottawa has built a new animal housing area as part of its shelter. Thanks to support from Community Veterinary Outreach, VCA Canada, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, and many of you, this project has now become a reality! The new animal housing area opened on June 19, 2018.
The Interval House of Ottawa animal housing area cost $130,000 to build, from start to finish. The price is well worth it when you consider the countless human and animal lives that will be saved. Now, families can escape violence together and find a new beginning without sacrificing the safety of any humans or animals in the process.
2018 Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference
The National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC) will hold its fourth annual Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference in Alberta in November 2018. Crown prosecutors and allied professionals from across the country will be in attendance to share information and resources about animal cruelty prosecution in order to ensure that crimes against animals are prosecuted effectively and efficiently.
2019 Canadian Violence Link Conference
We are excited to announce that the 2019 Canadian Violence Link Conference will take place November 21-22, 2019 at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. This event is a follow-up to the first-ever national conference on the violence link, which our organization presented in Ottawa in December 2017. Inspired by the network-building, sharing of ideas and successful outcomes of the 2017 conference, including the establishment of a new national Canadian Violence Link Coalition, we will again be convening this important meeting of the minds to further Canada's work on the violence link. This conference will examine the link between violence against humans and animals, looking at the vulnerabilities in both populations and how various sectors can learn from each other and gather the necessary tools to stop the cycle of violence. For more information on Humane Canada's 2019 Canadian Violence Link Conference, visit clc.humanecanada.ca.
Ottawa Police to participate in Violence Link Training
We are also excited to announce that the Ottawa Police will be the first police service in Canada to participate in our Violence Link training course. This pilot program will be for all front-line officers, as well as Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault and Child Abuse detectives. Animal abuse cases have nuances that police officers do not normally deal with, and knowing what to look for will help determine if people are also being abused in the home. This can be lifesaving information.
Our goal is to make this training available to police forces right across Canada, and your support will ensure that we can continue to press forward on this important work.
As the national organization representing Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is the go-to national voice on animal welfare issues for industry, media, government, non-governmental organizations and the public. But our important work is not possible without your donations!