Summer 2014

Photo credit: Traer Scott


Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims


Dawning of a New DAIS


You may have already heard the exciting news - the new domestic abuse shelter for Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) is almost here! After a capital campaign and incredible community support, the new DAIS shelter will open its doors on August 1st. Unlike the current DAIS shelter, the new DAIS shelter will not be in a confidential location. The model of the new DAIS shelter is to bring domestic abuse out of the shadows. No more secrecy. No more shame. Victims will be welcomed to safety in a visible location on the North Side of Madison. The new shelter will have more than double the amount of beds available for victims. It will also have a small temporary holding space onsite for the animals of victims who are seeking shelter at DAIS.


How will the new DAIS shelter impact the SAAV Program? The fundamental structure of the SAAV Program will not change. The SAAV Program will continue to be provided by SAAV through a collaboration with DAIS and the Dane County Humane Society. The space for animals at DAIS will supplement, not replace, the SAAV Program, by providing onsite shelter for animals at DAIS for a very brief period of time (less than 24 hours), until the animals can be transferred into the SAAV Program. The goal is to reduce a barrier to victims by creating a brief respite for their animals until the victim can apply for the SAAV Program. Given the greater number of victims who will be served by DAIS, we anticipate a greater number of animals needing refuge through the SAAV Program as well.  We have been preparing for this possibility for the past year, by streamlining our process and creating a more robust foster list.


So, how can you help? We will continue to need more foster families to assist with shelter for SAAV animals. If you are already a SAAV foster parent, please give some special thought next time a foster request comes your way to see if you can help. If you know someone who would be a good candidate to serve as a SAAV foster parent, send them our way! We will have another SAAV foster orientation session this fall to welcome new families into our network of confidential foster homes. In particular, we have a need for foster parents who do not already have their own animals. Some animals that come into shelter with SAAV are not good candidates for foster in a home with other animals. Another particular need is foster families with experience assisting animals with medical needs or other special needs. If you know someone who would be interested in joining our foster network, please encourage them to contact us at


As always, we thank our foster parents and all of our volunteers for everything they do to make a difference in the lives of humans and animals affected by domestic abuse. Please join SAAV in congratulating everyone at DAIS for the tremendous work that went into making the new shelter a reality.  To learn more about the new DAIS shelter and the SAAV Program, look for us in the August issue of BRAVA Magazine.

How to Help Animals in Your Community:

Spay and Neuter. This is THE number one way to reduce the number of unwanted pets in our communities.  According to estimates, animal shelters care for between 6-8 million dogs and cats in the United States each year. Sadly, approximately 3-4 million unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized each year.  Unwanted pets are often abused or neglected.  Please spay and neuter your pets, and encourage others to do the same.
Educate children. Humane education for children is an important component of developing a community of compassion for animals.  Here in Dane County, our local shelter, DCHS, has a number of wonderful programs to help build empathy in children. Examples include Ideas for Teachers, Whos Helping Animals and Camp Pawprint. Visit their website to see all kinds of ideas- If you live outside of Dane County check out your local shelter to see what programs they may offer.  If you cannot find any programs, create one!
Call Local Law Enforcement If You Suspect Animal Abuse or Neglect.  Animal abuse and neglect is a crime in all 50 states. Far too often, it is an undetected crime, because animals are vulnerable and abuse often happens behind closed doors.  To investigate crimes and prosecute offenders, it is important for the community to call local law enforcement when animal abuse or neglect is suspected.  Such calls often lead to the discovery of crimes against the people in those homes - domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, or other forms of family violence.  If you live in the Madison area, you may contact Animal Services to investigate a complaint of animal abuse or neglect at (608) 255- 2345.  And, of course, you can always contact the police.  If you live outside of Madison, find out the number to call for complaints and do not hesitate to call if you witness or suspect animal abuse or neglect.
Advocate For Laws That Protect Animals.  As noted above, animal abuse and neglect is a crime in all 50 states, but what constitutes abuse or neglect widely varies, as do the types of animals protected by the law.  Many states are adopting legislation that provides innovative ways to tackle animal cruelty and neglect - counseling for offenders, restrictions on their ability to have animals in their homes, animal abuse registries, are just a few examples.  Stay informed about animal protection laws and make your voice heard on behalf of animals.
Donate money, time and/or goods to your local shelter or rescue organization.  Charities aimed at protecting animals are plentiful and doing amazing work to make a difference.  Support them with your time, money, and/or expertise if you have a special skill set.
One person can make a difference!
Board Spotlight - Pam Hart


Pam co-founded SAAV and currently serves as Secretary. She is the Animal Law Program Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund where she works to develop animal law programs in law schools across the country. Pam also teaches a course in Animal Law at the University of Chicago Law School.


When you are not traveling the nation working hard what do you do for fun?
 I'm pretty simple when it comes to fun. As long as I'm with my family and friends, I think any situation can be fun! In the summer, I particularly love being anywhere near or in the water. Nothing better than a perfect Wisconsin summer day on the lake, watching my kids swim with the dogs and, of course, wrapping it all up at the Memorial Union.
If you could have lunch with anyone, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? 
 Any current president of the United States. I would try to persuade him or her to include increased protections of non-human animals an administrative priority and issue. This would include working with law makers to enact and enforce stronger laws to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals. 
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?
 Middleton, Wisconsin! I love living in the mid-west and raising my family here. There are so many wonderful people and things to do. Although I've had the opportunity to live in other parts of the country, I can't imagine being anywhere else. Ask me again in January. The answer may be different! 
What would your dream job be?
 I'm doing it! I feel fortunate to have a job where I can merge my passion with my profession. When Megan and I were in law school we spent many hours dreaming about how we could use our law degrees to advocate for animals. SAAV was born from this and the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty opened my eyes to a wide range of other issues that I became passionate about. That lead me to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), where I have now worked for almost ten years. As director of the Animal Law Program, I am able to work with law students and legal professionals who want to make the world a better place for animals. It's really inspiring to be around so many people who want to change the world. 
SAAV Events Coming Up 
SAAV Foster Orientation Session
Coming this fall!
Are you or someone you know interested in becoming a member of our network of foster homes? Please join us to learn about domestic abuse, the link to animal cruelty and how we serve victims and their animals through The SAAV Program. We will be scheduling a new orientation date this fall - stay tuned for more details!
Other Great Local Events
Unleashed and Uncorked- DCHS
Friday September 12
7:00-10:00 pm

Join Steve's Wine-Beer-Spirits and Dane County Humane Society's third annual Unleashed & Uncorked: For the love of art, wine and animals! Wine tasting, art for sale, delicious small bites courtesy of Bunky's Cafe, stargazing by UW Space Place, featured one-of-a-kind DCHS canine artwork, and live music are the focal points of this celebration. Enjoy the beautiful setting while enjoying your wine out by the bonfire. Participate in the popular wine pull and you won't go home empty handed! With over 10 local wine distributors, this is a great opportunity to talk with the experts while mingling with DCHS canines and fellow DCHS supporters. 

Superstar Volunteer- Jen Everhart
[By SAAV Co-Founder, Megan Senatori]
Every organization needs a creative force to help capture its mission and for SAAV, Jennifer Everhart serves that role perfectly.  Jen has been a volunteer for SAAV since 2011.   She started helping to staff booths at local events spreading the word about SAAV. It was quickly apparent that Jen had a creative streak that we could really use.  In the fall/winter of 2012, SAAV was fortunate to be selected by Bad Dog Frida as their featured charity and they made a generous financial donation and also featured SAAV in one of their storefront windows for a quarter.  We put Jen to work, and she designed a beautiful window that perfectly combined our mission and the holiday season.  The SAAV Board of Directors immediately thought of Jen when we wanted to move forward last year with our idea to start a newsletter. When we approached Jen about our long-held idea of starting a newsletter, she enthusiastically got to work and designed a newsletter for us.  We now publish a quarterly newsletter (this is our fourth) to keep our supporters updated about important events and other information about SAAV and the link between domestic violence and animal abuse.  We could not have done that without Jen and the devotion of her valuable time to our mission.  So, this month, SAAV salutes Superstar Volunteer, Jen Everhart.  Thank you Jen! 
[Jen's note: I felt I could add a note since I edit the newsletter. I am honored to work with such an amazing group of people who are committed to such an important mission. Thank you to each of you reading this newsletter. We would not be what we are today without you.]
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 with 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: 4
Contact information:
PO Box 5152
Madison, WI 53705
In This Issue
Dawning of a New DAIS
Helping Animals In Your Community
Board Spotlight
Superstar Volunteers
SAAV Mission

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Helping victims of domestic abuse, by helping their animals.