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Safe Haven for Pets

Often, pets are used as tools in abuse and suffer from extreme violence when they live in a home where their owner is a victim of domestic violence. Care Lodge is able to provide support and care for these pets while their owners receive support and services.

The Safe Haven Program is a partnership with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine to provide short-term boarding program to benefit shelter clients and their pets. Shelter clients who flee domestic violence with their pets have access to free services such as:

  • boarding and food
  • vaccines 
  • heartworm and parasite testing and treatment 
  • spay or neuter surgeries 
  • flea and tick control
  • any other medically necessary treatment
  • transportation to and from the hosting animal clinic
  • and most importantly, tender love and care during their stay!

A Brief History of The Partnership

Previously on faculty at MSU CVM, Dr. Grace returned to the College in 1999 and, while attending a domestic violence conference in 2007, met Leslie Payne, past director of Care Lodge. The two exchanged ideas about the need for a program to provide safe shelter for pets belonging to Care Lodge clients, a conversation that ultimately led to the 2008 launch of the MSU CVM-based Safe Haven for Pets program. Now in [2020] its twelfth year of operation, the program has provided almost 3,000 days of temporary boarding to 80 pets belonging to over 40 families entering Care Lodge, all at no cost to the owner or to Care Lodge. And while there is growing interest in the possibility of housing pets on-site at domestic violence shelters, that approach is not workable at all shelters. Safe Haven for Pets fills the gap by offering other solutions.

“Our program not only offers shelter and much-needed TLC for these animals, but it also provides vaccines, flea and tick control, spay or neuter surgeries, heartworm and parasite testing and treatment, and any other medically necessary services for them until their owners are able to be reunited with them,” Dr. Grace said.

The College’s third-year veterinary students deliver hands-on care to the animals under the supervision of MSU CVM Associate Clinical Professor Dr. Christine Bryan, who provides the day- to-day medical care for the animals on a volunteer basis. Read the full article from Pegasus Press HERE

For more information on this program, please contact or 601-482-8719

Our Contributors

  • United Way of East Mississippi
    United Way of East Mississippi