FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2014
Contact: Alisha Chavez, NMCADV Communications Coordinator
ALLIES FOR THE COMPANION ANIMAL RESCUE EFFORT DECLARE THEIR SUPPORT
SANTA FE, NM – On Monday, August 25th supporters gathered at the State Capitol Roundhouse to show their commitment to helping domestic violence victims and survivors and their pets. The New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NMCADV) and Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM) celebrated the launch their successful collaborative project, the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE). Representatives from both NMCADV and APNM spoke, along with legislative supporters Senator Nancy Rodriguez and a representative from U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office. Finishing out the event, Sherry Mangold, Educational Program Director for APNM, brought up her adorable Italian Greyhound, Sophie, whom she explained was rescued from a domestic violence threatened home and survived a brutal attack to become a loving therapy dog. Community members and other therapy dogs were present to show their support for the rescue project.
Daniel Abram, Deputy Director of APNM, explains, “For victims of violence in the home leaving an abusive situation often means not only leaving the abuser, but leaving their beloved companion animals.” Adding that, “abusers often use the power tactic of threatening to harm the animal if their victim tries to leave or seek help.”
Pam Wiseman, Executive Director of the NMCADV explains the link between domestic violence and animal abuse, “Children and domestic violence victims are the real targets of animal abuse. If you want to scare or hurt a child you will abuse or torture or kill their animal.” Also saying that, “abuse is really about how we treat those with less power and those that can’t defend themselves.”
Senator Nancy Rodriguez offered her continued support and commitment to legislative policies and funding to help all victims of domestic violence. Putting herself in the victim’s shoes she “cannot imagine what it feels like for them to have to leave their home and leave their animals that have no way to defend themselves.” She adds that hopefully the legislation and funding she supported will, “help in linking providers and organizations to collaborate and become one in this effort.” She also stated “There should be absolutely no inhibition. When people have to leave their homes for abuse, we should have a comprehensive plan for a holistic approach.” Meaning all family members, pets included, should be able to be cared for in domestic violence situations.
Acting as a representative for U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, Alex Bazan, shared these warm words from the congresswoman, “CARE is a fantastic initiative that not only addresses the many dangers that these animals face, but also recognizes the fact that in many cases the victim’s pets are their only source of true love and support.” Recognizing that, “All too often victims of abuse are forced to stay in violent relationships in order to keep their beloved animals out of harms way. Thanks to CARE these victims will have one less mountain to climb on their road to safety and recovery.”
The Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) offers relief and support to domestic violence victims and survivors and their companion animals by providing temporary, confidential housing and care for their companion animals through a network of animal shelters and safe havens around the state. Statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence report that up to 40% of domestic violence victims refuse to leave their abuser because they are concerned for the welfare of their pets if they are forced to leave them behind. Only a handful of domestic violence shelters around the state are equipped to house victim’s pets while they are in shelter. CARE empowers domestic violence victims to leave their homes by providing the shelter their animals need while they are escaping their abusers. For more information visit: APNM.org/CARE