SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — The Spring is a refuge in Sand Springs that helps victims of domestic violence and their children. The shelter can house up to 70 people and has been open for nearly 40 years.
Until recently, The Spring wasn’t able to accommodate families with animals. This meant that victims often decided to go back to their abusive partners, out of fear of what would happen to their pet.
Red Rover is a national organization that aims to help pets in crisis. They say that only 15 percent of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. allow pets and 48 percent of abuse victims delay their escape if they can’t take their pet with them.
The Spring has now converted an existing building into pet housing. The facility has 6 indoor dog kennels, each with a bed and a door leading to an outside play area. There’s also a room for cats, which includes beds and climbing toys.
The animal facilities have been in the works since 2015 and cost around $130,000 to build. Red Rover gave about $30,000 while Greater Good Charities paid the rest.
Sarah Stout works as a Guest Advocate at The Spring. She helps victims transition to a life away from their abusive situation. She spoke to FOX23 about the decisions victims have to make when planning their escape with pets.
“Animals provide such a safety net, and such a big emotional comfort for our guests. So, we just want them to have that opportunity to just sit and feel safe for the first time in a long time,” said Stout.
The Spring hopes to begin accepting animal guests within the next few weeks.
If you need help fleeing an abusive situation, please call 918-245-4075. The Spring’s hotline is open 24/7.
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