Dogs Threatened with Domestic Violence Need Your Help


Freedom Project - Dogs Threatened with Domestic ViolenceAs Dogs Trust Freedom Project marks its 10th anniversary and fosters its 1,200th pet, the charity has launched a series of striking images to highlight the link between violence towards partners and violence towards pets. The latest project statistics reveal that 52% of the domestic violence clients using the service reported that their pets were also threatened or abused by a violent partner.

Since refuges are largely unable to accommodate pets, many people remain in violent domestic situations simply for fear of what might happen to their pet if they were to flee without them.

Dogs Trust Freedom Project is an innovative pet fostering scheme providing vital help for people in Greater London, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire fleeing domestic violence. The scheme works by temporarily placing the pet at risk with a volunteer foster carer who will care for them in their own home until they can be safely reunited with their owner.

Owners receive updates on how their pet is doing whilst in foster care, reassuring them that they are being cared for until they are in a position to have them back.

They need your help

Clare Kivlehan, Freedom Project Manager, says:

"The Freedom Project relies upon a team of fantastic foster carers who look after dogs for an average of six months. Over the last ten years we have been supported by our wonderful volunteers, who have fostered just over 1,200 pets, helping over 840 families.  Without them the Project would not exist, so we are hugely thankful for their amazing support."

Freedom Project dogs suffering domestic violence

There are approximately 80 registered volunteer foster carers who look after the dogs as part of their family. Without these amazing foster carers, the Freedom Project would not be possible.

Dogs Trust would love to hear from anyone who might want to join the foster carer team. Please visit or email:

To see how rewarding fostering can be, please see the video below:

Darlene Kerr
01 August 2014  |  17:20

This is a wonderful thing that you do. I often wondered what became of the dogs/cats in domestic violence situations. I know that if a woman/child is being very likey is the family pet. This indeed is wonderful!

Valerie Potts
02 August 2014  |  11:44

I agree. Why do animals always seem to be the ones to suffer. I have had a very loved dog that was abused, she did not deserve it and was the most loving companion to all the family for a long and happy life We still miss her and cannot understand why she was so abused, and dumped on a rubbish heap Wonderful loving dog!