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The Alberta SPCA Marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Pet Safekeeping Program Protects People & Pets from Family Violence

November is Family Violence Awareness month, and it reminds us pets are often harmed as part of the cycle of domestic abuse. Research consistently shows that violence and threats of violence against animals is often used by abusers to exert control and power over domestic violence victims. That same research reveals 59% of pet-owning survivors in emergency shelters admit to delaying leaving their abusive situation over concern for the well-being of their pets.

“Most shelters are unable to accommodate pets,” said Alberta SPCA Pet Safekeeping Coordinator, Patricia Mamak, “Many victims will remain with their abuser rather than risk leaving their pets behind.”  

The Alberta SPCA’s Pet Safekeeping Program offers temporary care for pets while survivors re-establish their lives.  Since its inception in 2014/15, the Pet Safekeeping program has seen a more than 300% increase in the number people and pets being accepted.  2018 will be another record breaking year for the program.

“As more people learn about the program, the need for it increases exponentially,” said Mamak.

Survivors are referred to the program through one many partner shelters in Alberta.  Once accepted, pets in the program receive a full medical exam, vaccinations and any required treatments.  They are cared for until the survivor is in a position to welcome them back.

While cats and dogs are the primary pets accepted into the Pet Safekeeping Program, others offered care this year include:

  • Budgies
  • Bearded Dragons
  • Geckos
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Rabbits
  • Parrots

The Pet Safekeeping Program is funded 100% through donations to the Alberta SPCA, as well as through in-kind contributions.  To date in 2018, $134,000 has been spent on boarding, veterinarian care and supplies.


     “I am honoured that you watched over my cat.  Every need was met. You saved my life when I needed to get well.” 

Pet Safekeeping Program Client

     “You protected our family pet from being given away. You helped more than you will ever know.”

Pet Safekeeping Program Client

     “Our client would have never come to shelter without a place for her dog. This was so helpful.”

Pet Safekeeping Program Partner Organization

For further information, please contact

Dan Kobe
Communications Manager 
Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
17904 – 118 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB  T5S 2W3
Tel: 780-732-3742
Email: dkobe@albertaspca.org

The vision of the Alberta SPCA is that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely.


Pet Safekeeping News Release.pdf



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