Domestic violence victims now have a place for their pets as well

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Victims of domestic violence have a place to go, and now, thanks to a new program, so do their pets.

The YWCA of Kalamazoo is partnering with the SPCA, so those people fleeing from bad situations don't have to leave their pets behind.

The program is called My Sister's House.

The SPCA of Southwest Michigan is providing foster homes for any pets in any medical condition, free of charge, so their owners will know they are safe.

A director at the YWCA says sometimes a violent partner will hurt an animal--or threaten to--as a way of hurting their partner, or the animal may become a target itself.

"One of the women we've actually already helped said it was either her or the dog that was abused, so we see that," said Katie Timber, with the SPCA. "There's a correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse. We want to set the entire family up for success."

During the time the animal is at the SPCA, family members can visit them as often as they wish.

The program is free, but the SPCA is accepting donations to help them with medical costs and living expenses for the animals in their care.