Vancouver-based Banfield Foundation launched its Safer Together public service announcement (PSA) featuring professional football champion and pet advocate, Russell Wilson. Research suggests up to 89% of pet-owning domestic violence victims report their abuser has either threatened, injured or killed the family pet, and as many as 48% of victims remain in an abusive relationship because they fear for the safety of their pet. However, with an estimated 6-10% of domestic violence shelters allowing animals, the urgent need to create and grow support for pet-friendly programs is critical.
Since its inception in September 2015, the Banfield Foundation has awarded nearly $410,000 to 46 domestic violence related nonprofits, which have helped more than 4,000 pets. Earlier this year, the foundation committed to invest $1 million over four years through its new Safer Together program. This multi-faceted initiative includes a grant program, the creation of an all-volunteer Advisory Committee, continuing education for the veterinary profession, and the PSA, starring Wilson.