Winter 2014

Photo credit: Traer Scott


Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims

2013 in Review 
    Happy New Year Everyone!  As we look back on 2013, we do so with great pride in the difference we made in our community and, in particular, in the lives of the domestic abuse victims we served.
     Through the SAAV Program, we provided temporary, confidential shelter last year for 25 animals affected by domestic abuse.  Each of these animals came to us with a unique story as their humans entrusted them into our care while seeking refuge from a batterer.  We provided each of these animals with safety, lots of love and provided the opportunity for these victims to reestablish themselves in a safe home environment. 
     2013 also provided us with many wonderful opportunities for community outreach and education.  We were privileged to present to the Rotary Club of Madison in November, Wisconsin Women's Network in October, Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs Southcentral  in May and various other community events throughout the year.
     A special thank you to our foster parents and other volunteers who make our work possible.   Below, we feature two of our superstar volunteers.  We hope their dedication inspires you as much as it inspires us!
Moving into 2014 and Beyond
       We are always looking for opportunities to share information about SAAV and to raise community awareness about the link between domestic abuse and animal cruelty.  If you know of any group who might be interested in having a guest speaker from SAAV, we would be honored. Our presentations can be designed specifically for the appropriate amount of time and audience.  Examples could be local organizations, school classrooms, community groups, church groups, businesses, etc... Please send any ideas or requests to us at 
      We also pleased to share with you our new website!  A lot of hard work and dedication went into the creation of the new website.  Megan Senatori (SAAV Co-Founder and President) and her husband Adam put many hours of labor and loads of thought and creativity into the development.  Thank you Megan and Adam!!  The site is beautiful and we encourage everyone to visit it often for updates on SAAV and new opportunities to get involved.
Board Spotlight - Sheila Hart


     Our Board Spotlight for this edition focuses on our newest Board Member, Sheila Hart.  Sheila joined SAAV's Board of Directors last year.  Her main role with SAAV is to oversee our general (i.e., non-foster) volunteers.  Sheila brings so much joy and passion to our organization every day.  She has a broad background in animal services from county shelters and various rescues.  Currently she is a volunteer at the Dane County Humane Society, in addition to SAAV.  Recently SAAV caught up with Sheila for a few fun questions to get to know her a tad bit better. 


Describe your perfect day:

SH:  Coffee with my dogs and husband, a yoga class, my sister and I visiting my Dad at his Memory Care Assisted Living home, volunteering at the DCHS Adoption Center (and sending several dogs and cats to their new forever  home!), having dinner and an IPA at the Echo Tap before heading to a Badger Basketball game.  


What do you enjoy about Madison?

SH:  Family, living in a sunny condo downtown, Badger sports, craft beer, living in a community with strong support for animal adoption/rescue, University of WI campus offerings, The IronMan (as a spectator of course!).


Anything exciting about  2014?

SH:  A trip to Costa Rica!  I also just starting taking ice skating lessons, and love it!


What motivates you to be involved with SAAV?

SH:  I'm very proud to be part of SAAV.  It's a perfect combination of compassion for people and animals.  It also allows me to spend time with others who are passionate about the bond between animals and their people. 


And being involved with DCHS?

SH:  I have very strong feelings about the importance of spay/neuter and adopt vs. purchase.  I hope to see a significant decrease in homeless pets during my lifetime.

SAAV Events Coming Up 
SAAV Foster & Volunteer Orientation Session February 12, 2014
Are you or someone you know interested in becoming a member of our network of foster homes? Please join SAAV at the Dane County Humane Society from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on February 12 to learn about domestic abuse, the link to animal cruelty and how we serve victims and their animals through The SAAV Program.  To RSVP for the event, email us at
Other Great Local Events

Ruby's Gala

Saturday February 15, 2014

Join the Dane County Humane Society ("DCHS"), for an evening of fine food, live music, and gorgeous surroundings.  The Madison Masonic Center will provide the backdrop for a presentation showcasing DCHS's mission. By purchasing a ticket or a table to this event you will gain the opportunity to learn more about the accomplishments and goals of DCHS, while demonstrating your support.  Proceeds will benefit DCHS, including its participation as a collaborating partner with The SAAV Program.

Superstar Volunteers
Pat & Pete Sammataro


    As an all-volunteer organization, our work is made possible only due to the dedication of the fabulous people who take time out of their busy lives to support us with the gift of their time.  We want to introduce two of our best - Patricia ("Pat") and Pete Sammataro.  

    For almost a decade, Pat and Pete have supported SAAV by serving as foster parents and by volunteering to staff booths at local community events.  They can always be counted on to treat SAAV animals as if they were their own, lavishing them with love and attention.  Pat and Pete can also be found braving the heat of Dog Fest in the summer each year and the craze of Dog Fair in the fall.  They may not even recall this, but the first financial donation we ever received actually came from Pat & Pete over a decade ago!  For years, their wonderful dog, Frankie (pictured), served as our ambassador at community events, until he passed away a few years ago.  

    When not volunteering for SAAV, Pat & Pete love spending time with their "Canine Entourage" - comprised of Milo, Geronimo and their newest addition, Naughty Ricky Ricardo.  Thank you to Pat & Pete - for all that you've done for SAAV over the years.  We salute you!

Valentine's Animal Mailboxes
    The only care these wild mailboxes require is a steady diet of Valentine's Day cards! Each card holder is made from a tissue box either solid colored or you can cover the box with card stock, felt, or whatever you have! Here is what you'll need to get started:

  • Glue
  • Felt
  • Card stock
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • 1-1/2-inch-wide googly eyes



   Be creative and create your own favorite critter 
using whatever you have around the house!
Courtesy of Family Fun Magazine
What We Are and What We Do- Our Mission
    Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV) is dedicated to ending the cycle of abuse within families. SAAV plays a unique role in this fight by recognizing the importance of animals as vital family members and arranging for their safe harbor at the time of critical need- when a domestic abuse victim seeks refuge from an abuser.  We provide temporary, confidential shelter (the SAAV Program) for a period of up to ninety days for the animals of domestic abuse victims in Dane County who are seeking safety for themselves and their family. The SAAV Program is provided by SAAV through a generous collaboration between SAAV, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services and the Dane County Humane Society.  SAAV also raises community awareness in Dane County and nationally about the link between domestic violence, animal abuse and how individuals can come together to stop the cycle of abuse.  SAAV is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Issue: 2
Contact information:
PO Box 5152
Madison, WI 53705
In This Issue
2013 in Review
Moving Into 2014 and Beyond
Board Spotlight
Superstar Volunteers
Valentine Animal Crafts
SAAV Mission

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Helping victims of domestic abuse, by helping their animals.