Pets at refuge

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

The Porirua refuge Te Whare Ti­aki Wahine has moved to a new six-bed­room safe house and it is the first Women’s Refuge to have an an­i­mal shel­ter on site.

Hutches, a dog run and a small shel­ter are in the process of be­ing in­stalled so that fam­i­lies can bring their pets with them to the refuge.

A re­cent re­search re­port con­firmed a link be­tween an­i­mal abuse and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, says refuge man­ager Caro­line Herewini, with one in three women say­ing they de­layed leav­ing a vi­o­lent re­la­tion­ship be­cause of pets in the fam­ily.

‘‘ We have no­ticed a steady in­crease of women who come to us with their pets. So when we knew we could move into this new safe house, we de­cided to see if we could have some­thing spe­cial for rab­bits, guinea pigs, dogs and cats.’’

Not all refuges are able to pro­vide an on-site ser­vice, but they are work­ing with the SPCA to pro­vide a ser­vice to women who need it in other ar­eas of New Zealand, says Women’s Refuge chief ex­ec­u­tive Heather Henare.

Te Whare Ti­aki Wahine has a 30-year his­tory of pro­vid­ing safety to women and chil­dren in the Porirua re­gion and is one of two in the area.

The home was opened by Hous­ing Min­is­ter Phil Heat­ley last week.

‘‘Women’s Refuge do a fan­tas­tic job sup­port­ing women and chil­dren in cri­sis, and now tak­ing an ex­tra step here, to look af­ter pets as well as peo­ple.

‘‘This re­moves a ma­jor worry for those who feel they can’t leave their pets in a vi­o­lent home,’’ he said.

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