Happy 2016 everyone! As we look back on 2015, we offer a heartfelt thank you to all of you for continuing to support SAAV and for your dedication to raising community awareness about the profound ways that family violence affects all members of the family, including those with fur, feathers, or fins.
This past year, SAAV provided temporary, emergency, safe shelter to twenty animals affected by domestic violence in Dane County. The remarkable bond between survivors of abuse and their animals extends to all types of animals. In 2015, through the SAAV Program and our collaboration with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services and the Dane County Humane Society, we provided shelter not only to dogs and cats, but also to a parakeet, several ferrets, a Guinea pig, and a very beloved little mouse.
In addition to direct shelter services, we were delighted to also have participated in a wide variety of community outreach events to raise awareness about the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Our outreach efforts extended to fairs (like Mounds annual Dog Fest and Animart's Pet Fest), speaking engagements (such as to the UW Badger Volunteers), community events (like Whole Foods' Burgers and Barks Bluegrass event) and social media, to name just a few.
As we focus on our goals for this year, we are committed to opportunities that provide greater support for startups of shelter programs in communities throughout Wisconsin and the nation. We are moving forward with a variety of initiatives to provide resources to those who wish to start a shelter program like the SAAV Program in their own community. As always, SAAV will also continue to provide direct services to domestic abuse survivors with pets, by providing outreach, support, and temporary emergency shelter for their pets when survivors make the incredibly brave decision to seek safety. Finally, in May SAAV turns 15 years old!
We look forward to continuing to partner with all of you!
Update on Wisconsin's Pet Protective Order Legislation
They say the wheels of justice move slowly. Wisconsin's Pet Protective Order legislation has unfortunately become a prime example.  As we reported in previous newsletters, the Wisconsin Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 97 in May 2015. The companion bill, Assembly Bill 141, then passed unanimously out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee in September 2015. Yet, this important lifesaving legislation with overwhelming bi-partisan support has yet to become law. Indeed, it has not yet been put before the full Assembly for a vote. Why you ask? It's frankly not clear. We have heard assurances that this legislation would be made a priority in 2016. To date, however, it has not. On behalf of domestic abuse victims in Wisconsin, we urge you to contact your elected Representative and ask him or her to make Assembly Bill 141 a priority. For more information regarding the status of AB 141 please visit http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/proposals/ab141 .
Welcome to Holly Godar

A great big welcome to Holly Godar, the newest member of the team for the SAAV Program.  Holly is the new Community Support Services Coordinator at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS).  In this position, she will be coordinating the Community Response program and the Support Group program for DAIS.  She will also be working with DAIS clients utilizing the SAAV Program.  She loves animals of all kinds and is excited to join the SAAV team!  Holly came to DAIS as a part-time Shelter Advocate in 2013 and also worked as the Bilingual Family Advocate from 2014-2015.  She graduated from Luther College with majors in Psychology and Spanish.  Holly and her partner have made a home with their puppy Willow (pictured).  Even though they have no idea what breed Willow might be, she is the perfect dog for their family and keeps them active and laughing every day. Welcome Holly and we are delighted to add you to the SAAV Program team!
Volunteer Spotlight

SAAV relies on foster homes for the animals that we bring in to safe refuge. Without these wonderful volunteers we would not be able to do the work that we do. Renee has been a blessing to us by taking in some very challenging cases for us for many years. She is a delight, we thank her from the bottom of our hearts, and we wanted to share a bit about her with you. Enjoy!

What do you do for fun?
I'm an amateur gardener. I built two raised beds and every year getting more successful. My husband jokes that my ROI on each jar of canned tomatoes is roughly $30. He's probably being generous. I didn't realize how much my summer hobby would help beat the winter blahs... it smells like summer every time I open spaghetti sauce or canned tomatoes from my garden.

If you were on an island and could have three things with you what would they be?
Sunscreen, a stand up paddle board, and the local island rum.
(.... I feel like that was a trick question. I was supposed to say my husband, my cat, and a book, wasn't I?)

What would your dream job be?
The same answer that it's been since I can remember: I would open an animal sanctuary for all things furry or four-legged.

What motivates you to work with SAAV?
I learned about the SAAV Program while fostering for Dane County Humane Society. At the time I had one cat, and was on the fence deciding whether or not to adopt another cat or a dog. As someone who cares about animal welfare, fostering was a no-brainer. Instead of adopting a forever animal, I would open my home to animals in need. 
Usually when I first meet a SAAV foster they are stressed, anxious, or confused. I will never forget the day I got a call for two *very* large dogs. The foster coordinators, as always, were very transparent about the animal behaviors they've observed and what has been communicated to them by the owners. I was told both dogs had a high level of anxiety and they were having difficulty adjusting to being kenneled. When we approached the kennel area, the roar of two of the most commanding barks I've ever heard filled the hallway. I approached their kennel and quickly realized they had the body mass to match their bark. I stood there for a moment as the coordinator assured me it was ok if I didn't think I could handle them. Even as an experienced dog-handler, there was a part of me that wasn't sure, but I was not leaving without trying. After taking them outside for a potty break, I felt comfortable taking them home with me. On the ride home I remember looking in the rear-view of my sedan, seeing nothing but fur from floor to roof, hearing nothing put stress from my back seat, and thinking I was in for a very long night. I couldn't have been more wrong. After a few hours getting used to me and my house and I gave them space to roam freely. After a few minutes of not hearing the clinking of their collars I began to look for them (fearful I'd find myself down a pair of shoes) both were in, what I imagine, the most peaceful and deep sleep either had gotten in a long while. They knew they were safe. The two dogs that just hours ago had me speechless standing in front of their kennel turned out to be two gentle giants.
The feeling that comes over me when a stressed animal finds the trust and safety to allow them to collapse into that deep and sound sleep is difficult to put into words, but it's that feeling motivates me to keep a permanent spot reserved in my home for SAAV fosters. 
Events and Happenings

Pet Photography to benefit SAAV
February 13th & 14th
11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Capitol City Creatures is generously hosting a photo event at Animart East for the second year in a row that will benefit SAAV. Show your pet some love for Valentine's Day by taking them to Animart for a pet portrait! Call for your appointment today (608) 284-1058. Sessions are $40 for 10 photos on DVD. 25% of the proceeds will be donated to SAAV. Thank you Capitol City Creatures and Animart! More information at: http://sonadorpress.com 

Womanade Event
February 16, 2016
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Home of Biz Johnson (35 Paget Road, Madison, WI 53704)  Click here for a map
Our Madison Womanade group has chosen SAAV as their charity of choice during an event they are hosting on February 16th. The event is a casual pot luck with beverages provided. It is requested that you bring a minimum $25.00 donation and a small dish to pass for this event. The invitation is open to all and bringing friends is encouraged. Womanade is a group of generous and kind-hearted woman in the Madison area who's motto is "When life gives us women, we make WomenAde!" They work toward fundraising for our community charities, organizations, and groups that they believe in their mission. We are grateful they believe in ours! Check them out on Facebook to give them a like and follow their page.

SAAV Foster Orientation
February 24, 2016
5:30 to 7:30 pm
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (2102 Fordem Ave, Madison) 
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. Pre-registration is required. Please RSVP by emailing info@saavprogram.org.

Access Hour on WORT 89.9FM and HD
February 29, 2016
7:00-8:00 pm
Tune in to learn more about the SAAV Program's mission, how we accomplish it, and what you can do to help! SAAV will be live on the radio with WORT and we could not be more excited, so tune in and join us!!!
Special Thanks

On January 23, 2016 the Mad Rollin' Dolls, Madison's roller derby league, graciously invited the SAAV Program to their triple header as the featured charity that evening. We were able to have an informational booth and the Mad Rollin' Dolls shared information about the important work we do. A portion of ticket sales will be dontated to SAAV. What a great opportunity! Thank you to Deb Plantz, "The Heat", for coordinating this event, the Mad Rollin' Dolls, and their supporters!
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 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.