Our pets are considered a part of our family, and this is also true for victims in domestic abuse situations.

Executive Director for Rowan House, Sherrie Botten, says several barriers often stall a victim leaving a bad situation.

"There are many barriers a victim faces when they're looking to leave a bad situation...financial, knowing where they're going to be, where their children are going to be. And also, especially in a rural situation, there can be a concern about pets," she said.

Botten says Rowan House has some solutions in place for pets to assist victims since they cannot allow pets into the shelter.

"We have a partnership with local pet serving organizations, so if a woman needs to leave quickly, which is often the case, she can also ensure that her pets are safe," she said.

Botten says farm pets, such as horses and other cattle are also of concern to victims, as abusers often use pets as a pawn when the victim is trying to leave.

Rural animals are more of a challenge to make arrangements for, however, the local pet serving organizations allow visitation of the animals so they can still maintain a bond with their owner while their change of situation takes place.

For more information, contact Rowan House Emergency Shelter via their Facebook Page, or by dialing the 24-hour crisis line at 403-652-3311.


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