Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $400,000)
The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) will work with the sub-grantees as a pass-through entity to provide funding to address gaps in emergency shelter, housing, and other services for victims/survivors and their companion animals. The three comprehensive DVSPs participating in this program (The Bridge in Cecil County, CASA in Washington County, and SARC in Harford County – all rural areas) identified the gaps they face when serving survivors with pets. This funding would allow them to address these gaps in emergency and other housing services by examining the possibilities of building modifications, cost of on-site or hotel sheltering and boarding of pets, relocation expenses, supplies, support services, pet deposits and pet rent, and veterinary bills. Increasing bed nights available in emergency shelter and easing the process to transitionary housing are the objectives of these activities. To improve knowledge of the importance of providing shelter for pets of intimate partner violence survivors throughout Maryland, the MNADV and outside subject matter experts would provide training on the importance of understanding the relationship between victims/survivors and companion animals to advocates and allied professionals as well as to veterinarians and other experts in companion animal care. Furthermore, MNADV will also create a campaign to improve understanding of the relationship between companion animals, domestic violence, and the ability to safely leave an abusive partner with the objective of providing information to victims/survivors with pets who might not know that they have a place to turn.