I thought this was interesting

Anything that doesn't fit into the other three catagories

Postby madremissy » November 1st, 2008, 10:29 am

I saw this on the internet this morning. Thought it was interesting. What do yall think?
http://www.rockdalecitizen.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=2&ArticleID=4911
10/31/2008 12:01:00 AM Email this article • Print this article

Staff Photo: Robert Porter
A.J. Scarborough, left, and Tom Wargo, with Lawrenceville-based Daffy’s Pet Soup Kitchen, finish constructing the 800-square-foot fenced kennel at Project ReNeWal, the battered women’s shelter that serves Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties. Families fleeing domestic violence situations can now bring their dogs to the shelter for temporary housing during a crisis.


Special photo
The new kennel at Project ReNeWal was dedicated Oct. 23 in memory of Pam Spencer, who was killed Nov. 6, 2007. Friends said Spencer stayed in an abusive relationship out of concern for the welfare of her dogs.

Protecting the pets
Kennel honors woman who died to protect dogs

Aimee Jones
News Editor

CONYERS - Family pets are many times the forgotten victims of domestic violence and are often used as pawns by an abuser to leverage control over the household. When a victim flees a violent situation, animals are frequently left behind.

But now, victims of abuse in Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties who seek refuge at the local battered women's shelter also have a safe haven for their pets.

Through donations of money and materials, Tom Wargo, founder of Lawrenceville-based Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen, constructed a kennel on the property of Project ReNeWal last week.

The 800-square-foot fenced area can hold up to 10 dogs and has three kennels and two dog runs.

Vickie Stevenson, executive director of Project ReNeWal, said the kennel is meant to be a temporary solution for families who need immediate help and have no place to take their pets.

"It depends on the situation," Stevenson said. "The children are already detached from so many personal things that they may not want to be separated from their pet."

All animals must be current on vaccinations before being allowed in the kennel. She said the shelter works with local veterinarians who will house pets for longer periods of time and help out with vaccinations.

Stevenson said family pets are often targets of abuse in violent homes.

"The abuser pretty much uses pets as a wedge," she said. "He'll say, 'If you don't do this, I'll break the dog's leg' or 'I'll kill your pet.' ... That's one of the main things we teach in domestic violence classes to law enforcement and other agencies because it's so common. ... It's a way of controlling other family members."

She said about once a month a family with a pet will seek shelter at Project ReNeWal.

"Normally we try to work with families to get a protective order so they can all go back home. We work with getting families back in their own environment as quickly as we can," she said.

On Oct. 23, staff and board members at Project ReNeWal dedicated the kennel to Pam Spencer, who was killed Nov. 6, 2007. Authorities say the murder was the result of a domestic argument, during which Spencer's live-in boyfriend, Rick Breedlove, shot and killed her at their Covington home before turning the gun on himself.

Spencer was devoted to saving animals and had fostered hundreds of dogs. When Spencer died, she had 14 small companion dogs in her home, including a blind poodle, a Chihuahua, pappilons, Pekingese, and a hairless Chinese Crested. Most of the dogs had come to her due to some traumatic situation from which Spencer had rescued them. Spencer reportedly told friends that she was fearful of Breedlove, but didn't want to leave because he threatened to harm the dogs.

"I really want (people) to know, the only reason Pam didn't leave her house and save her life was because (the shooting suspect) had threatened the dogs. She told us if she left, he had told her he would hurt or kill the dogs. Pam literally gave her life so that her dogs would be safe," Spencer's friend, Sandra Gray, told the Citizen shortly after Spencer's death.

Wargo said the kennel he built for Project ReNeWal was the first he constructed at a battered women's shelter, but is part of his company's mission of helping people and their pets through difficult times.

Wargo has been in the construction business for 21 years, working on homes and with churches. He said he often came in contact with people in financial straits.

"You could see some of these people didn't have a lot of money, but they'd have dogs and cats," Wargo said. "I would see people deliver food and they would eat part of it and give the rest of the meal to their dog."

He started to bring pet food with him on jobs and then the idea of starting a charitable organization began to blossom in his mind.

So he opened Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen, a nonprofit pet food bank and pet assistance program serving Gwinnett and surrounding counties.

"Once we got into the food bank and started really talking with people, we were finding so many things we never thought of before," Wargo said. "We thought, why not help the individual person before the dog goes to rescue. We're hearing from people that turn in dogs because they can't afford to feed or take care of them."

Now, he is working with homeless shelters in the Atlanta area to build kennels and with animal rescue organizations. He has also enlisted the help of a veterinarian who offers services at a discount.

"Our biggest thing is to try to keep families and their pets together and the kennel at the shelter is just one more way," Wargo said.

For more on Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen, visit http://www.daffyspetsoupkitchen.com. To learn more about Project ReNeWal, visit http://www.projectrenewalgeorgia.com. The 24-hour assistance line is 770-860-1666.

Aimee Jones can be reached at aimee.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.
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madremissy
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 1st, 2008, 11:49 am

That's awesome. Fear for pets is one reason many victims won't leave. There's a group in Cleveland that works with DV victims and will foster their animals until they are in a safe place. I think it's a wonderful idea.
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Postby madremissy » November 1st, 2008, 11:57 am

I saw on the news last month about the food bank for animals but I haven't seen this. I used to transport clients that were staying at safe havens. It was very discreet for the women so nobody knew where they were. This one woman had to leave her dog and it about killed her. I am glad that someone thought of this.
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Postby airwalk » November 1st, 2008, 3:45 pm

More and more programs like this are popping up and it's a good thing. Folks that abuse animals often abuse people and people that abuse people more often, as Liz said, use the animal to maintain control.
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Postby Marinepits » November 1st, 2008, 3:47 pm

Because our shelter is part of the police department, we will house pets that are involved in domestic violence situations when an arrest is made.
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.
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Postby Malli » November 1st, 2008, 4:20 pm

I think its pretty great :)
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Postby madremissy » November 1st, 2008, 4:25 pm

The only thing that worried me about the food bank for animals, is that I hope it doesn't get taken advantage of. :( (like everything else that is supposed to be for the needy)
I have three big dog houses that need good homes. I think I will call and see if they are needed :)
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Postby Malli » November 1st, 2008, 4:32 pm

Honestly, we(at work) used to take in pets for women who'd moved to the shelter, too, and THEY would take advantage of it. Its all relative, I guess. I still think it's good, being specifically designed for that purpose, because it's more likely that if things get delayed etc that the pet will be able to stay (our problem, we had animals in way longer then we were originally told...).
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby iluvk9 » November 1st, 2008, 6:55 pm

I think it is a great idea. :)

Now stop saying "y'all".....
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Postby madremissy » November 1st, 2008, 7:01 pm

:neener:
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