Thanks to generous donors like you, domestic violence sufferers near Albany, Georgia, who are seeking a way out of their situations will no longer be forced to leave their pets behind in order to get help.
Rescue Rebuild travels to shelters in need across the U.S. and helps them complete projects that will improve the lives of people and animals. With the help of 6,200 volunteers and millions of dollars in donated funds, they’ve completed hundreds of projects in 49 states since their inception in 2007. These projects include repairs, additions, or rebuilds of damaged or inadequate animal shelters, domestic violence shelters, homeless & veteran housing, and wild animal sanctuaries. You can support their work with domestic violence shelters by donating here.
One of Rescue Rebuild’s most recent projects took place in Albany, Georgia, at an emergency domestic violence shelter. Previously, guests at Liberty House were not able to bring pets with them, which was a significant barrier for many victims who sought help but didn’t want to leave their pets behind. Indeed, it is a common barrier for millions of people trying to leave DV situations.
It’s not hard to understand why someone would want to take their pet with them wherever they go when they move, but it’s especially important in domestic violence situations. Pets that are left behind alone or with their owner’s abuser are often subjected to abuse or neglect as well. More than 70 percent of DV survivors report that their abuser has at some point threatened, injured, or killed their pets. For this reason, many people who are experiencing domestic violence refuse to leave because it would mean leaving their pet in harm’s way.
Thankfully, residents of Liberty House in Albany can now bring their cats and dogs with them to a “Paws Playhouse” on the same premises as the domestic violence shelter. Guests will have a safe and comfortable space to spend time with their pets and can know that their cats and dogs are well provided for right on site.
In October, Rescue Rebuild brought 26 volunteers to Liberty House to demolish an old shed and bring in a newly built 12’x24′ structure to house dogs and cats. The new shed has three completely separate pet suites, complete with beds and other living-room-like furnishings, AC, toys, access to covered outdoor spaces for playing and pottying, and more. To top it all off, the space is ADA accessible as well.
The team also installed a 40’x20′ fenced-in play area for the animals, 220 feet of storage shelving for pet supplies, a ramp, and more than 100 feet of sidewalk.
Volunteers spent 13 days and a total of 1524 work hours on the project. The new Paws Playhouse offers 1,095 safe nights of housing for pets of Liberty House’s residents per year, and it will continue to serve the community for many years to come.
You can help make more builds like this one possible and more nights of safety accessible for domestic violence victims and their pets. Please consider a donation today to keep DV survivors and their pets together and protected!
See more photos from the recent Rescue Rebuild project below.
Here are more photos from during and after the build: