A partner organization outside of the Edmonton area called our crisis line to see if we could help one of their outreach clients. Linda was living in a small apartment building in a remote community. Her safety was at risk, not due to a partner, but because of a neighbor who lived in the same building. RCMP had been involved in the case over several weeks and things had only gotten worse over time.
The abuse from the neighbor increased from arguments and threats, to them damaging Linda’s property. Linda feared every time she left her unit. The final breaking point came when the neighbors compromised Linda’s vehicle so she could not operate it. Being winter, this meant Linda was stuck at the apartment with no way to leave. That was when RCMP advised her to leave the property for her own safety.
Linda quickly found a place for herself to stay with a family member. While Linda was able to stay with her family member, her two young dogs and three cats, the rest of her family, could not. Linda wouldn’t leave them behind, knowing her own safety was at risk being in the apartment, she feared they would become a target if she left them there alone. Linda decided that she would be staying in the apartment, with her pets, until they had a safe place to stay as well.
The Crisis Care Program team worked as quickly as possible to ensure all members of the family could be safe. Linda’s pets stayed with us for three week while she found a new apartment that was safe for the whole family.
This story is not unique.
When in crisis, pet owners are often unable to focus on their own mental and physical wellbeing until they know that their companion animal will be safe. The Crisis Care Program provides reprieve to pet owners dealing with a life-changing event that impedes on their ability to care for their companion animal(s).
The Alberta SPCA’s Crisis Care Program was launched in 2019. This program is designed for individuals that have run out of safe options, it is a last resort program for individuals experiencing crisis and are unable to care for their animals temporarily.
Refuge should be available to everyone.