Shelter Takes in Domestic Violence Victims' Cats

Noah's Animal House provides a safe haven for pets of domestic violence victims.

Posted: October 29 2007 2 a.m. EDT

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When domestic violence victims leave abusive situations, what happens to the family pet? In Las Vegas, the dogs and cats of women and children seeking refuge at The Shade Tree women’s shelter can stay at Noah’s Animal House, just across the parking lot from the women’s facility.

The brainchild of Staci Columbo, board member of The Shade Tree and vice president of marketing and advertising for Station Casinos, Noah’s Animal House officially opened its doors on Oct. 9, 2007. Shelter officials say the shelter is the first of its kind in the nation, providing a permanent structure for animals on the same campus as a women’s shelter.

The 1,500-square-foot facility can house 14 dogs and 15 cats. Care for the animals is provided by the pets’ owners residing at The Shade Tree.

“Everybody’s really good about taking care of their responsibilities,” said Crystal McIntosh, shelter manager. “We don’t take over their duties. We try to make it more like a home instead of a kennel.”

Noah’s Animal House also features “cuddle rooms” where owners can spend time with their pets. “The women and children just light up when they come over here and see their pets,” McIntosh said. “It’s like a home environment.”

For more information about Noah’s Animal House, visit the shelter’s website.

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Reader Comments

Lori    Apple Valley, MN

7/23/2009 7:33:09 PM

Statistics show that abuse victims stay in a relationship because they fear for their pets safety if they try to leave. This a great thing for these people.

debby    oxord, NC

10/29/2007 9:20:26 PM

that is such a great idea.

Angela    Hamburg, NY

10/29/2007 6:49:24 PM

This is a very good thing. Not only does it take a lot of strength for a woman to leave and abusive relationship, but to leave a loved pet behind must be horrible. This is one small step in the right direction.

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

10/29/2007 5:19:50 AM

This is Great! I am sure there are battered women out there that need somewhere to go that are afraid to leave their pets behind. This would be such a relief for them. I hope more shelters do this or provide help for these poor women's pets.

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