Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Freedom Project: Helping families with pets flee domestic violence

Not a lot of people know about the Dogs Trust Freedom Project, but I think it’s one of the most interesting things we do, so I decided to make a short film about it.

Through the Freedom Project we’re able to organise foster care for dogs whose owners are fleeing domestic violence. Often, a person will not leave an abusive partner for fear that their dog will be hurt or even killed if left behind, but sadly many women’s refuges are unable to take dogs.

This is where we can help. As soon as we receive a referral from a refuge or social services we’re able to collect the dog and personally deliver him to a volunteer foster carer, allowing the abused person (and often their children) to escape to a place of safety.

The Freedom Project pays for all of the dog’s food and any veterinary bills, and gives regular updates to the owner on their dog’s wellbeing. The owner and foster carer both remain anonymous, so that nobody will be able to trace the dog while he’s in foster care, and once the owner is settled again we bring the dog back to them.

Here’s an interview with Bonny, one of our wonderful volunteer foster carers. The dog in the video is not one of the dogs she is currently fostering, it’s office dog, Daniel the Spaniel.

Please note, the Freedom Project only operates in Yorkshire and Greater London. We’re always on the lookout for more volunteer foster carers, so let us know if you’d like to help.

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