Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $94,999)
Purpose of the Project
The purpose of Bridges' Fur Babies, Too project is to remove the barrier of fear of harm to the family pet by an abuser which oftentimes keeps victims from leaving a violent home. It has been established nationwide that victims will stay in a violent home becuase they know the abuser will threaten to harm or kill the family pet in an effort to control the victims to come back. With the help of community grantors, Bridges has been able to establish a physical pet shelter on the premises of the emergency shelter so that victim/survivors no longer have to make the choice of saving themselves versus saving their pet. They can bring their pets with them to safety. We anticipated dogs and cats would be coming in, but we've had, and dealt with birds, turtles and monkeys as well. Needless to say, they can become a handful properly maintain. In this request, we are asking for the salary for one specific individual to be in charge of the resident's pets. Many of our victim/survivor residents are employed in their effort to become self-sustaining, independent members of the community. They drop their children off at daycare or school in the morning, go to their employment, pick up their children when their day ends, and come back to the safety of the shelter. We all know pets (especially dogs) cannot be left alone for the 10-hour period that encompasses.
Depending on the pet, they may need to be walked, exercised, fed and watered. Our residents rely on us to take care of their pets while they are away from the emergnecy shelter engaged in their employment or schooling.
The expected outcome is happy, healthy pets bringing their joy to the families living safely in the shelter. Last fiscal year we served 76 pets for a total count of 1,529 days.
Our only shelter is located in Williamson County, Tennessee, so, no matter where the residents originally come from, they are served here at the shelter.
Intended Beneficiaries and subrecipients
The direct beneficiaries are the domestic violence victim/survivors who we serve, especially the children who benefit greatly from being able to enjoy the continous bond with their beloved pets, and the pets themselves, of course. The indirect beneficiaries are the animal rescue societies in the area who will have less animals surrendered to them since they are, instead, here and safe with their families.