Did you know that up to 71% of victims entering domestic violence shelters report that their abusers threatened, injured, or killed the family pets?
How about that nearly 50% of individuals that are in domestic violence situations delay escaping the abuse because of concern about their pets?
Unfortunately, Ahimsa House knows these shocking statistics all too well. Ahimsa House, founded in 2004 by Emily Christie after she lost a pet to domestic violence, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps human and animal victims of domestic violence across Georgia reach safety together.
What is Ahimsa House
Via a network of foster homes and partnering boarding facilities across the state, Ahimsa House provides up to 60 days of emergency housing for animals while their owners are escaping abuse and are staying in a domestic violence shelter or in other temporary housing where pets are not allowed. To date, Ahimsa House has provided over 27,000 nights of shelter for animals, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, turtles, snakes, and ferrets. Additional services include veterinary care, animal transportation, legal advocacy on pet-related issues, guidance on including pets in safety planning, and assistance with pet deposits in transitional housing. Requests for assistance have more than tripled over the past three years.
Ahimsa House also works to raise awareness among both professional agencies and the public about the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. The Ahimsa House outreach team can be spotted at community festivals, pet fairs, civic organizations, domestic violence task forces, and professional conferences. Ahimsa House partners closely with domestic violence agencies, law enforcement, animal control, veterinarians, counselors, and other professionals serving the human and animal victims of domestic violence.
Fueled by Volunteers
With a staff of two and a statewide service area, Ahimsa House relies on an extensive network of volunteers who help staff outreach events, transport animals, foster animals whose owners are in the process of reaching safety, work in the organization’s Decatur office, plan special events, and much more.
To learn more about Ahimsa House, visit the website at www.ahimsahouse.org or call (404) 496-4038 for more information. For 24-hour assistance with situations involving the safety of people and animals, call the crisis line at 404-452-6248.