A Tie Between Pets and Domestic Violence Survivors

PetsEmpower.org is a nonprofit umbrella organization increasing access to short-term fostering for domestic violence survivors.

We give courageous domestic violence survivors a positive alternative preserving pet relationships at risk, through no fault of owners. We promote a seamless, smooth, and simple process allowing domestic violence survivors and pets to enter safe spaces as fast as possible to keep the pet bond intact. We leverage each short-term foster agency’s best capabilities. We ensure peace of mind their loving pet is taken care of and provide reunification, positive health outcomes, transformative community service, and corporate social impact. Currently, we are part of the 2017 MassChallenge Boston cohort where we are connecting to top nonprofit and business executives to further our impact and grow as a community. We’ve been featured in Huffington Post, NECN, posted by The Dodo and already assisted 15 survivors with accessing help and reuniting with their pets after.

PetsEmpower.org was founded after the CEO, Jordan Ross, was left homeless when he returned from college to domestic violence.

Jordan Ross, CEO and Founder

After trying to access shelters, and finding there were none which would accommodate for him and his black lab Jazz, he was able to connect with men transitioning out of homelessness at the Pine Street Inn who could foster Jazz. The only other alternative at this point would have been boarding Jazz, which at $35 a day, was not a realistic option. After accessing care and finding an apartment which was pet friendly, Jazz and Jordan reunited and were able to live out nine more happy years together thanks to the short-term fostering Jordan was able to find.

From this experience Jordan realized there were not many options for people facing crisis situations as only around 3% of domestic violence shelters across the nation accept pets.

However, “nearly half of the domestic abuse victims who stay in violent households do so because they are afraid for their animals” (Animal Legal Defense Fund). This led Jordan to establishing PetsEmpower.org, a nonprofit umbrella organization which connects domestic violence victims with short-term fosters.

By partnering with agencies and organizations, PetsEmpower.org hopes to make the decision to leave unsafe situations easier and reunite pets and people to continue healing. Through foundation grants, individual donors, and corporate sponsorship, along with involvement in accelerator programs such as MassChallenge which connects management to executives and mentors across the country, PetsEmpower.org hopes to continue providing services across Massachusetts and Rhode Island and eventually expanding to national assistance.

Get connected with PetsEmpower.org at Facebook (facebook.com/petsempower.org), Twitter (twitter.com/petsempowerorg), and Instagram (instagram.com/petsempowerorg).

Author: Margaret Amelia

Margaret-Amelia Crook is a marketing manager for PetsEmpower.org. Learn more about her at linkedin.com/in/macrook.

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