Safe Haven For Pets

Peace for Pets ~ Safe Haven for Animals is a short term foster care program for the companion animals of individuals who are in a domestic violence situation.

We must recognize the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. Many abusers use the family's pet as a ploy to control and/or intimidate the victim of abuse by threatening to cruelly harm or kill the pets.

Our foster care program provides service for up to 90 days, making it easier for families to remove themselves from the abusive situation and get the help they need.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Program

How does an animal enter the Peace for Pets ~ Safe Haven for Animals Program?

You must be in a domestic violence situation in Stark County, Ohio.

An initial screening interview takes place with a Safe Haven representative who will explain the program and, together with the pet owner, determine if Safe Haven can be of assistance. This may be conducted over the phone or in person.

The Safe Haven representative will next make arrangements to meet the pet owner and pets at a safe, mutually agreeable location. At that meeting, the client will be asked to sign an Owner’s Agreement which details each party’s responsibilities.

What type of pets can be placed in a Safe Haven foster home?

We can accommodate cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, topical fish, horses and smaller livestock, some amphibians and some reptiles.  We may be able to make special arrangements for other type of pets, please ask – we do not want any animal to be left behind in an unsafe situation.

What happens if I have more than one pet?

Safe Haven can accommodate multiple pets.  We will make every effort to keep them together in a foster home.

What happens to my pet?

The first step is to make sure all pets are physically healthy. Safe Haven works with a specific local Veterinarian to provide medical intake services.

Pets entering the  Safe Haven foster home program are given a basic physical. Vaccinations will be given if they require updating or if the pet’s veterinarian records are not available. If they have not been spayed or neutered (cats and dogs only) Safe Haven will make arrangements to have this done.  If possible, it is important to provide Safe Haven with veterinary records (see “What to Bring” below).

Once a pet is determined healthy and temperamentally suitable for placement, Safe Haven will transport your pet to the foster location.

Does the pet owner have to give up her pet when the animal enters the Safe Haven program?

No. The pet owner retains ownership even while the pet is in Safe Haven’s care. The pet owner must execute a Owner’s Agreement which gives Safe Haven the authority to obtain veterinarian treatment for the pet as well as past veterinarian records.

How long will Safe Haven take care of my pet?

At the first meeting, the pet owner and Safe Haven representative will assess the amount of time the pets will require foster care. Generally the maximum is 90 days.

Boy hugging his dog

Can I visit my pet?

Unfortunately no. Because these situations involve domestic violence, Safe Haven does not provide you with information about the foster placement for the safety of all those involved — you, your pet, and the foster home.

Why do dogs and cats have to be spayed or neutered?

Safe Haven requires dogs and cats to be spayed and neutered for several reasons:

  1. Millions of pets are euthanized every year in the United States for no other reason than the pet population is always rapidly increasing causing there to be too many animals and not enough homes. Safe Haven is dedicated to reducing this number.  We certainly do not want to contribute to the problem.
  2. Spaying and neutering is healthier for the animal, it reduces the risk of certain diseases such as cancer, and the incidence of certain unwanted behaviors such as marking territory for male dogs and spraying for cats.
  3. A spayed or neutered animal can be placed in a foster home with other pets, without concerns about the Safe Haven animal or the foster home’s pet becoming pregnant.

Who pays for the spaying or neutering, and the other veterinary care?

The cost of vet care and spaying or neutering are covered by Safe Haven with the help and support of other agencies and the generous donations of the public.

What if I am unable to reclaim my pets?

Safe Haven is not a rescue. Pet owners need to understand that we are a short term foster care program and that the intention is for the pet to go back to its owner after a maximum of 90 days. We encourage pet owners to explore the placement of their pet with a friend or family member for a more long term solution and before relinquishing their pet to Safe Haven. However, if the pet owner decides they can no longer care for their pet, Safe Haven will place the pet an adoptive home.

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