Pet Safekeeping

Safety Planning – Before you Leave

How Do I Keep My Children, My Pets, and Myself Safe?

Escaping a relationship that is plagued with abuse is complicated. In fact, deciding to leave an abusive relationship is often just the beginning of the journey. Countless studies have shown that woman are at the highest risk of being seriously injured or killed when they decide to leave a violent relationship.

If you are in an abusive relationship, it is important to have a personalized safety plan to keep you and your loved ones safe.  You should have a safety plan whether you plan to stay in the relationship, are contemplating on leaving, or have already left the relationship.

Safety Plan Checklist

 Including pets in a safety plan will ensure that all family members will escape an abusive situation.


  • Memorize Important Telephone Numbers
  • Keep Your Cellphone Charged
  • Teach Children How To Call Police
  • Have An Emergency Shelter Contact
  • Inform Neighbours To Call Police If They See Or Hear Anything Suspicious
  • Practice and Review The Safety Plan

Identification *

  • Driver’s Licence
  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Healthcare Card
  • Immigration Papers
  • Practice and Review The Safety Plan


  • Bank Account Information
  • Hide Credit Cards and/or Cash In A Safe Place
  • Cancel Joint Credit Cards
  • Inform Your Bank


  • House and Car Keys **
  • Medications and/or Prescriptions
  • Suitcase ***
  • Pets


  • Marriage or Divorce Papers
  • Restraining Orders
  • Custody Orders
  • Work Permits
  • Seek Legal Advice
  • Practice and Review The Safety Plan

* Keep important documents in a safe place such as a safety deposit box, at your place of employment, or with a trusted neighbour / friend. Photocopy identification that you regularly use to keep a copy in a safe place with your other important documents. Make sure to include your children’s documents as well.

** Put an extra set of keys in a hidden but easily accessible place.

*** Leave your suitcase with a trusted neighbour or friend. Make sure that your suitcase includes any valuable or irreplaceable items such as photographs or jewelry, in addition to clothing and other personal belongings.

What Should I Include In A Safety Plan If I Have Pets?

□ Know your pets hiding spot so you do not have to spend time looking for them if you have to leave your home in an emergency.

□ Try to have the following pet items in a safe place where your abuser won’t find them:

  • Vaccination & Medical Records
  • Pet License (Proves Ownership)
  • ID Tag With Leash
  • Collar or Carrier
  • Medication (If required)

Where Can My Pets Go?

The Alberta SPCA’s Pet Safekeeping Program provides temporary care for pets whose owners are in violent and abusive situations.

If you are fleeing a domestic violence situation and you have a pet you should:

  • Contact the Pet Safekeeping Coordinator at the AB SPCA at 780-447-3600 ext 3750

The Pet Safekeeping Program will provide your pet with all required supplies and any medical assistance your pet(s) may require. You do not have to worry about anything while your pet is in the Pet Safekeeping Program.

If you have questions about the Pet Safekeeping Program, you can e-mail Pet Safekeeping or call 780-447-3600 ext 3750.

How to
Get Help

How to Access the Program

If you are a pet owner fleeing an abusive home situation and you are concerned about leaving pets behind, please contact us.

Safety Planning

Escaping a relationship plagued with abuse is complicated. Let us help you get started.

Warning Signs

Family violence can take many forms including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse.

Program Partners

Find a shelter in the Province of Alberta in your area.

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