"Fostering and Reuniting Pets. Empowering Domestic Violence Survivors. Saving Lives."

PetsEmpower.org is a nonprofit umbrella organization increasing access to short-term fostering for domestic violence survivors in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We give courageous domestic violence survivors a positive alternative to pet relinquishment or remaining in abusive situations with their pet due to a lack of options to place their pet. We allow owners to find safety for themselves and their pets through short-term pet fostering and and later reunite, generating positive health outcomes.


A world where 1 million American domestic violence survivors preserve healing pet relationships on their journey to safety.  Loving pets cease to serve as barrier to entry to domestic violence shelters.  Survivors and their pets escape  quickly and develop the tools for lives of freedom and dignity.

Get Help

If you or someone you know cannot leave a domestic violent situation because of a pet,
let us help. 


Your skills matter! Contact us and we can align you with a volunteer position or direct you to partner organizations which you can help.

Partner, Sponsor or Other

Do you represent an organization which could benefit from a partnership? Is your company looking to provide sponsorships?

Key Facts

  • "Only three percent of domestic violence shelters across the country accept pets."-American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • "Up to 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave." -Carlisle-Frank, Frank and Nielsen, 2004
  • "Nearly half of the domestic abuse victims who stay in violent households do so because they are afraid for their animals."  -Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • "71 percent of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; 32 percent reported their children had hurt or killed animals." -National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • "52 percent of victims in shelters leave their pets with their batterers." -National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • "Last year as a matter of fact we had 48 victims of domestic violence call us for assistance as a shelter. When we told them we couldn't take any pets they never came in." Committee to Aid Abused Women (CAAW) Noah's Animal House, Nevada
  • "The recidivism rate for women staying at The Shade Tree shelter without pets is more than 10 percent; while the return rate for women with pets is less than 2 percent. Simply stated, the healing power provided by the pets during the stay at the shelter has proven to break the cycle of abuse." (Noah's Animal Shelter)
  • "Frequently emotionally they (domestic violence survivors) are so battered down and feel so badly about themselves pets are the bedrock in their lives.  Literally if you take away that (pet) you literally take away everything from them." Liz Grieb Safe Embrace, Nevada