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Home / News / Experts Partner to Raise Awareness for Pet-Friendly Shelters

Experts Partner to Raise Awareness for Pet-Friendly Shelters

Victims Often Delay Leaving Abusers When They Can’t Bring Their Pets

Feb 04, 2021 and RedRover have formed a data-sharing partnership to help domestic violence victims and advocates more easily find domestic violence shelters and programs in the U.S. and Canada that accommodate pets onsite and offsite.

“Both organizations have been collecting this information from shelters and programs for a number of years, and we’ll both continue to do so. The main change is that by combining the data it improves its comprehensiveness and helps increase pet shelter awareness,” said Ashley Rumschlag, VP of Digital Services for, a service of Theresa’s Fund. “It is well documented that domestic violence victims frequently stay with an abuser because they fear for the safety of their pets if left behind. Improving pet shelter data for victims will save lives.”

Through the data sharing, and with research supported by The University of Windsor’s Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group, the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council and Purina, the organizations have definitive pet sheltering information from 2,580 of the 2,867 of the domestic violence shelters and programs in the U.S. and Canada. About 3 in 10 offer onsite or offsite solutions. In fact, there are 291 (11.2%) shelters and programs that offer onsite pet sheltering and 514 (19.9%) that offer offsite pet sheltering, commonly through community partnerships with the Humane Society, municipal animal shelters and local groups, foster care and animal rescues.

”We are thrilled to partner with to share our extensive database of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters and programs,” said Nicole Forsyth, President and CEO of RedRover. “We hope through this partnership that more domestic violence survivors and their pets will be able to leave their abusive partners and find safe haven to begin the healing process together.”

Millions of people visit the two websites of the organizations, and, to find shelters and safety, and to learn which shelters and programs offer local pet sheltering options. Currently, has the largest database of domestic violence shelters and programs in the U.S.and Canada. To easily find which shelters offer pet services, you will see a “paw” icon (pictured right) next to the shelter name. This partnership will bring even more “paws” to the database.

“I’ve been working in the domestic violence field since the 1980s and much has changed for the positive including the realization of the powerful role pets play in people’s lives and the need for and presence of pet sheltering options for victims of domestic violence,” added Rita Smith, VP of External Relations for and an international expert. “This arrangement is a great example of non-profits working together to improve what the domestic violence field offers.”

About RedRover

Since 1987, RedRover has focused on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the human-animal bond through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance, and humane education. Through their RedRover Relief program, they have helped thousands of animals and provided thousands of safe nights across the United States. To learn how RedRover is building a more compassionate future, visit

About Theresa’s Fund

Theresa’s Fund is an Arizona-based 501(c)3 non-profit charity started in 1992 by Preston V. McMurry, Jr. At a time when domestic violence wasn’t yet a headline, Theresa’s Fund focused on changing the landscape of domestic violence services in its home state through grantmaking, board development and fundraising for Arizona-based organizations like East Valley Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, Florence Crittenden, Emerge, UMOM, and West Valley Child Crisis Center. In 2014, it developed the concept as a way to expand its reach to people across the U.S. and Canada. is the first online and mobile searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence.