Transition House Support Line:  250.748.8544

Pet Friendly Room

For many of us, our pets are family members, and a source of comfort, love, and connection.

Violence against women affects all members of a family, including pets. It is a known fact that pets left behind are at increased risk after a woman leaves, and threats to harm pets are common tactics used to exert and maintain control by an abusive partner. For almost thirty years, local women leaving an abusive relationship with a pet and without family or friends to help out, have usually had to place their loved pet with anonymous volunteers who provide care in their own home. While this valuable service has been provided by wonderful volunteers with Cowichan Cat Rescue, many women will not seek safety for themselves unless their pet can remain with them.

Somenos Transition House, a program of Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, is excited that a new pet friendly bedroom will be available this spring, to provide safe shelter for women fleeing violence with their pets. To manage their presence in an environment with others who may have allergies or not like to be around animals, pets will have access to the bedroom with a private entrance, and separate outdoor kennel and exercise area.

Community support will be essential to their capacity to provide this much-needed expansion of service, and the organization is reaching out into the Cowichan community for help. Letters requesting support have been sent to local veterinarians and groomers, and donations gift certificates for pet food and donations of new or used supplies such as carriers, beds, leashes, collars, harnesses, and muzzles are needed. If you can help out, please email Tina Schoen, Somenos Transition House program manager at

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