YWCA opens pet shelter for victims of domestic violence
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – A pet shelter has officially opened at the Weaver Domestic Violence Center, the state’s largest emergency shelter for women and children.
On Wednesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the installation, which was attended by community and civic leaders.
The YWCA has heard victims on the crisis line say that choosing to leave a home when a pet is there is extremely difficult. The YWCA reviewed studies that found that nearly half of all domestic violence victims chose to stay in abusive homes because pets had nowhere to go.
“This pet shelter is a game-changer in the fight against domestic violence,” said Sharon K. Roberson, President and CEO of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee. “Each week our crisis counselors receive calls from victims who need to flee, but they will not do so because they should be leaving their pets behind. Thanks to our generous community, victims and their pets company can seek safety together at Abbie’s Safe Home right here on the Weaver Center campus. “
Gail Alexander, YWCA volunteer and board member, led efforts to expand campus programming. She and her late mother, Abbie Wallace, helped with the initial investment in the program. The establishment was named “Abbie’s Safe Home” in honor of Wallace.
Up to eight dogs and six cats can be housed in the shelter at a time. The YWCA anticipates that the shelter will help and heal up to 100 pets each year.
For more information on the Weaver Domestic Violence Center, click here.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, call the 24 hour crisis helpline and support – 800-334-4628 or the 24 hour text line 615-983- 5170.