October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Homelessness and Domestic Violence- 
Is there a Link?
This month is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we ask you to consider an angle of domestic violence that you may not have thought of before: homelessness. Among the many barriers to safety experienced by victims of domestic violence is housing. Imagine if you had to leave your home to achieve safety. Where would you go? Temporarily? Permanently? At SAAV, we help victims during this difficult time, by providing safe shelter for their animals for up to ninety days while the victim seeks refuge. But what happens after the ninety day period? Our goal is to reunite the victims we serve with
 their pets and that is usually the outcome in SAAV cases. Unfortunately, a reunion is not always the outcome. Sometimes, a victim makes the heartbreaking decision to surrender a pet. This decision is a direct result of how domestic abuse has impacted their lives. It may be due to finances, or a lack of housing, or a variety of other reasons. We respect the decision of the victims we serve and support them as they move forward. Even in surrender cases, we still have achieved success, because the victim and pet are safe, even if they do not remain together.
 
We recently helped a survivor of abuse who chose to surrender her beloved cat after the SAAV Program's shelter period. Kitty had untreated special medical needs that were discovered during a veterinary exam while she was enrolled in the SAAV Program. The survivor decided she could not keep Kitty, because she still had no housing for herself. Due to Kitty's special health needs, we knew finding a new home for her would be a challenge. We also knew that we could not give up on Kitty. SAAV worked with a veterinarian to start the treatment Kitty needed to regulate her medical condition (diabetes). Then, once her condition was regulated, we set out to try to find a new home for Kitty. We are pleased to report that our efforts were successful! We found just the right match and Kitty was recently adopted. She is healthy, safe, and loved, and that is the ultimate mark of success! It would not have been possible without the tremendous time investment of Kitty's foster parents who were outstanding.
 
In communities without a program like the SAAV, victims often have no choice but to surrender their pets, or leave them behind with a batterer, as soon as they decide to seek shelter for themselves. Through SAAV, victims have options and time to think about those options. With the support of their case worker at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, they can decide what is the right decision for their unique situation. As you think about National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, remember that homelessness, of both human and animal victims of domestic violence often goes hand-in-hand. As we strive to provide support for victims in our communities, we must focus on domestic violence as a cause of homelessness and look for ways to help reduce this significant barrier to safety for survivors of abuse.
Pet Protective Order Legislation
In our summer newsletter, we updated you on exciting legislation being proposed in Wisconsin to include pets in domestic violence protective orders.  As noted there, the legislation (Senate Bill 97) had passed unanimously out of the Senate, but had not yet been heard before the Assembly.  We're pleased to report that the Assembly Judiciary Committee has now voted the legislation (Assembly Bill 141) unanimously out of Committee!  It will now be scheduled for a vote before the full Assembly.  Please contact your local Representative to support this important and lifesaving legislation for humans and animals affected by domestic abuse.
Volunteer Spotlight
SAAV is delighted to feature one of our volunteers, Lauren McManus! Lauren began volunteering with SAAV earlier this year after attending a SAAV event. She loves animals and is passionate about protecting them from harm and abuse. SAAV caught up with Lauren so that you could get to know her and learn why she donates her valuable time to SAAV.
 
Do you have any pets?
Yes, two dogs - Cookie Bear and Noodles. Cookie Bear is a 2.5 yr old Yorkiepoo and Noodles is a 1 yr old Cockapoo. 

What four words would people who know you use to describe you?
Empathetic, advocate, outgoing, and passionate.

If you could live anywhere in the word where would you live?
Long Island, NY. I was born and raised there. I have always loved it!

What would your dream job be?
Marriage & Family Therapy. I have a Masters in Psychology and hope to use my talents to help many couples and families!

What motivates you to work with SAAV?
My husband and I went to a Madison Capitols game a while back and received a dog bag that was sponsored by SAAV. I looked into the organization and started crying just thinking about the struggle these victims face having to leave their pets with their abuser.  By working with SAAV, I can raise awareness and educate others about this alarming issue, and hopefully help protect the weak.
Thank You!
Burgers for Barks at Whole Foods Madison
Without the kindness and generosity of donors, SAAV would be without the much needed funds to help care for animals in our program and for raising awareness of the impacts of domestic violence on animals. We would like to thank Whole Foods in Madison for recently sponsoring SAAV through Burgers for Barks and One Dime at a Time. And last month SAAV was asked to participate in Animart's annual Dog Fest. We were lucky enough to be partnered with Nutrilife pet food. Through their foundation, Nutrilife donated fifty bags of pet food with all proceeds going to SAAV. Thank you to everyone for your generosity and kindness.

A three paw salute in gratitude to everyone involved!
Events and Happenings
SAAV Events

October 28, 2015   5:30pm - 7:30pm
DAIS 2102 Fordem Ave, Madison, WI 53704
RSVP's are required. Please visit www.saavprogram.org to learn more.

Other Happenings

October 16, 17, 23, 24, and 30, 2015   7:00 - 10:00pm
Main Shelter, 5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI, 53718

October 15, 2015   Doors open at 6:30pm
Overture Center, 201 State St, Main Lobby, Madison, WI 53703
$20-$40 tickets sold online

October 22, 2015   Times Vary 
See list of participating restaurants, Dane County, WI



Head out and help raise awareness!
Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims | info@saavprogram.org