Did you know that 68% of battered women report violence toward their pets? Some studies show that close to 50% of abused women stayed in relationships because they could not take their pet with them to a shelter. With these alarming statistics in mind, Shelter House opened the Kind Heart Kennel, an on-site pet kennel at the emergency shelter, in October 2013.
Domestic violence victims in Okaloosa and Walton counties no longer have to choose between their own safety and the safety of their pet. Pets can be a tremendous source of comfort during stressful times and being able to keep their pets close by can help the people we serve as they begin their healing process.
The Kind Heart Kennel is the first of its kind in Northwest Florida. Dogs, cats and other small animals, such as pocket pets and fish, are accepted in the shelter. The Kind Heart Kennel encompasses a heated and cooled dog kennel and dog run in the shelter’s backyard, an indoor cat room and pet-friendly bedrooms within the shelter equipped with HEPA filters for those residents with pocket pets.
Funding for the initial build has been generously donated by the Dugas Family Foundation. Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Restylers, H.E.A.R.T Animal Rescue, Furry Fanatics and Three Dogs and a Chick have also come on board as sponsors, donating pet products.
Food and water bowls
Cat climbers and scratch posts
Pet medication and vitamins
Flea and tick medication
Brushes and combs
Collars and ID tags