Introducing a new program at DVIP!
We are adding inside and outside kennels to assist victims and their children with pets staying in our emergency safe shelter.
We are renovating a basement room, that has access to DVIP’s backyard, to include 3 dog kennels and 3 cat havens. The room will have special venting and bathing facilities. Outside we will have 3 dog kennels and small run area. We expect to assist about 25 pets a year at our shelter.
DVIP’s Historical Commitment to Family Pets:
Up to 70% of domestic violence victims report having a pet. Abusers threaten, injure, and at times kill pets in order to control their victims and to create an environment of fear within the home. Approximately 48% of women have refused to leave a dangerous situation for fear of their pets’ safety. DVIP is the only domestic violence program in Iowa that has an organized safe pet program.
Over the past 15 years DVIP has raised funds and recruited community support to foster and provide critical resources (medical/food) to pets. In the past year we have fostered 2 horses, 1 donkey, 1 potbelly pig and 8 piglets, 3 rats, 1 snake, 1 bearded dragon, 1 rabbit, 12 cats and 7 dogs.
Many times our volunteer foster partners work with our families to make sure they see their pets throughout their stay in shelter, but this doesn’t replace being with your pet when you leave your home.
In November we were awarded a national grant from RedRover to expand our support services. It is our goal to provide kennel services on premises, because we understand the therapeutic value of families and pets staying together when they are in crisis.
We will maintain our foster program, but by adding kennels we provide flexibility and a unique support. Our partners have been fantastic in preparing for this change. With the funds from RedRover, we will purchase the cat havens, outdoor kennels, appropriate flooring, venting and bathing units.
The Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center will be assisting with training our staff and volunteers committed to Cooper’s House. We have also recruited local veterinarians that will provide medical screening of pets coming into shelter.
Also, DVIP will be providing therapy animals, such as our therapy-dog-in-training, Molly! Research shows that pet therapy has profound impacts both personally for victims and can also impact positively the shelter environment. Pet therapy reduces stress, and provides support during times of crisis or conflict.
This is also true for victims that will be able to bring their pet to shelter through our Pet Program. The human-animal bond can facilitate healing, aid attachment, and provide a source of comfort to survivors and their children.
Visits can be spontaneous and visits last as long or as short as needed; or can consist of specified goals and objectives for each individual, focusing on nurturing, grief, loss and rebuilding trust.
How can I help?
We will need additional funds to pay for the inside dog kennels—funds for walls, dutch doors and tiles (or fiberglass) for wall protection.
Throughout the year we will need donations of dog food, cat food and litter.
Other helpful items will include leashes, collars, portable kennels, litter boxes, toys, food/water bowls, bedding and towels.