Naturally, dogs are at the heart of everything we do here at Dogs Trust. But when it comes to domestic abuse, dogs aren’t the only pets affected.
We’re proud to work with our partners at Endeavour Project, who recognised this way back in 1997. They launched the UK’s first pet fostering service for owners going into refuges or temporary accommodation to escape domestic abuse. This year, they’re celebrating their 25th anniversary.
The Endeavour Project also provides whole-family practical and emotional support in Northwest England, across a range of specialist domestic abuse services. Including dedicated advocacy for families, young people, the elderly, and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. In their words, ‘no one gets left behind’.
In 2004, having been inspired by the work of Endeavour Project and hearing of emerging research into the links between pets and domestic abuse, we set up our Freedom Project in London.
Since then, Freedom Project has remained a vital part of our outreach work and we’ve gradually expanded our service coverage in the UK.
In 2018, we worked closely with Endeavour to form a collaborative partnership to provide dog fostering in Northwest England, while Endeavour Project continues to provide fostering for all other pets. This partnership allows us to pool our specialist knowledge and resources from across both charities, which benefits everyone; not least the animals and pet owners we’re able to assist.
Sadly, those links between pet abuse and domestic abuse still exist today and both our services are needed more than ever.
Together, we’ll continue to develop and promote service standards and best practice in pet fostering services for survivors of domestic abuse. Our aim is to raise awareness of this issue nationally, and, along with Cats Protection Paws Protect and Refuge 4 Pets, form part of The Links Group.