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How to Refer a Client to our Pet-Safekeeping Program

If you have a client who is a survivor of family violence or human trafficking

and needs a safe place for their pet(s), our program can help.

Please read below to find out how the process works. 


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All Requests for Service must
go through our Application page.


Important Note:

How it Works + How to Refer

1. Encourage your client to read the FAQ section of the Application page.

The FAQ section answers many of the common questions our clients ask, including whether or not they will be able to visit their pet, and the steps they can take to apply.


2. Submit one or more Applications.

You or your client must submit an Application via our website. Please submit a separate Application for each pet that you would like to enroll in our program. Also, please be as accurate as possible re: pet behaviours / concerns so that we can find an appropriate foster home. Otherwise, the pet(s) may have to be returned to their owner.

3. Make sure your contact info is on the Application.

When we receive the Application(s), we will get in touch with you (the caseworker) to confirm that your client is a survivor of family violence / human trafficking. You will be the referral source for that client.

4. We will triage the Application.

When we speak with you and the client, we will discuss the urgency of the case. We can arrange a 48-hr "urgent hold" for pets that are in immediate danger, or for clients that need to leave urgently.

5. We will coordinate the pet(s) drop-off with you and the client.

The confidential drop-off location will be as close to the client's current location as possible. If you can assist the client with transporting their pet to the drop-off location, that is appreciated.

NOTE: it will likely take a week or more to find an appropriate placement for the pet(s). Larger dogs can take longer to place, and we often have a wait-list for clients with larger dogs.

  • We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accept the pet(s) into our program

  • We will keep you updated on our progress

  • We ask that you let us know if anything changes with the client's or pet's situation

6. We will foster the pet(s) for up to one year.

During this time we will send pet updates to the owner (photos and text), and we will connect with you periodically to check-in on the client's circumstances. When your client has found safe long-term housing, we will reunite them with their pet(s).

We will provide veterinary care for the animals while they are in our program, at no charge to the client.

7. Please keep us updated on your status as their caseworker.

If the client leaves your service, transfers to another service, or changes caseworkers, please let us know. It is important that we have a way to contact both you and the client at all times, in case there is a medical emergency with a pet.

"When animals are abused, people are at risk.
When people are abused, animals are at risk."

Phil Arkow, National Link Coalition (USA)

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