In 2017 we commenced working in partnership with Women’s Aid covering the areas Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey. Over the first 12 months we offered a short term home to five dogs and as such assisted five women and their families.
The work of Women’s Aid ABCL&N is dedicated to providing refuge, support, information, training and development opportunities to women and children who are suffering abuse within the home. They work with a range of voluntary and statutory agencies and senior decision makers to raise the profile of domestic.
Connecting directly with the aims and objectives of the Sanctuary, if someone finds herself using the services of Women’s Aid ABCL&N, then we will offer their dog or cat a safe refuge in the interim period. The animal will have access to our kennel or cattery facilities and we will allow for feeding, exercise, socialisation and access to veterinary care for a sufficient period in order that issues relating to the woman and her family can be addressed. Additionally, we will accommodate visits from the family to the animal in a private and secure environment if the conditions are right and under the supervision of respective case workers.
The animal will be returned to their home environment once all issues have been resolved or if this is not possible we will also provide re-homing opportunities for the animal under the Sanctuary’s policy. This work has no impact on our capacity for rehoming dogs or cats.
Examples have been given when this work would have provided a lifeline to some Women’s Aid users and we all hope this will be the case in the future.
Ourselves and Women’s Aid ABCL&N view this as an exciting development in partnership working and are looking forward to the mutual benefits it will bring to both organisations and to the wider community.
The Sanctuary has also signed up to the Women’s Aid Safe Place initiative.