Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $400,000)
CFS is requesting to partner with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Office of Victims of Crime to support shelter and transitional housing services for victims of domestic violence and their companion pets. The purpose is to provide specific support services to survivors with pets seeking safety. CFS is seeking funding under Purpose Area 2.
Projected activities will include modifying the shelter and transitional housing to accommodate pets by installing two large, fenced kennels with dog runs, a pet refuse container, purchasing traveling dog and cat crates, providing pet supplies, and partnering with local animal clinics and trainers to provide medical attention, treatment, and training to pets. The project will have a Domestic Violence Specialist (DVS) II position for case management, linkages to medical care, treatment, and pet training and transportation. The program has allocated funds to provide financial support to offset the visit cost if the survivor cannot.
The DVS II will provide outreach and education to the public on the impact domestic violence has on pets and victims, as well as the importance pets are essential to the survivors healing and separation from a beloved pet creates additional trauma. Staff will also work on finding housing specific to the needs of the survivor and family.
Objectives/Deliverables: CFS proposes to serve six animals and their families a year. A vet will screen every animal within five working days. At least four animals and their owners will receive training around the impact domestic violence has on the pet, recognize the signs of trauma, and respond to behavior. Upon discharge, at least four survivors and their pets will be housed in a pet-friendly safe environment. CFS staff will provide a minimum of one training and outreach each quarter.
The CFS shelter is located on the Leeward side of the island of Oahu but serves the entire island. The survivor’s safety determines placement. The animal clinic is located on the Leeward side, and the training will occur at the shelter.
CFS is the leading agency for domestic violence services; they are pioneers in finding innovative ways to reduce the barriers for survivors seeking safety. Ten years ago, CFS opened their doors to emotional support animals, and with this project, CFS hopes to expand that to all pets.