By: Feliz Romero
OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s something you don’t hear of every day, an animal shelter helping victims of domestic violence. It’s part of a program that involves two metro nonprofits.
“About 64% of those who have been abused said they would not leave their animals with their abuser, so they stayed,” said Dana McCrory, the CEO of the Oklahoma Humane Society.
She said they could not turn a blind eye to the stats, so the nonprofit took action.
“We put an animal advocate in the Family Justice Center. When someone comes in who needs help, we can help them with their animals,” said McCrory.
The shelter teams up with Palomar, the program provides victims of domestic violence with a long-term foster while they work to get into a safer environment. When it’s safe, they reunite them.
“The family is not complete until the animals are back and so that completion, bringing that whole circle back is moving beyond words,” she said.
Destanee Ratley who is also a part of the program said it is difficult to find people who can foster for 2-3 months especially knowing these animals already have homes.
“We provide all of the food, the beds, the bowls everything like that. They just give them a temporary home to stay in until they get reunited with their families,” said Ratley, the Foster Concierge.
Right now, they have 14 fosters with animals and still need 16 additional volunteers.
“We currently have animals waiting to go to a foster which means that the victim could be staying with the abuser until that need can be met,” said McCrory.
Those that are interested should contact the Oklahoma Humane Society.
The humane society also provides free medical support for the animals.