26 February 2013

Today is Chooseday Tuesday and I’m picking Ahimsa House based on a suggestion made by one of my sister’s college roommates and best friends, Carole.

I’d never heard of this incredible organization and I’m hoping there are lots more like it in every state.  Ahimsa House provides shelter for the often overlooked victims of domestic abuse: four-legged creatures. According to the Georgia-based organization’s website, many women stay in abusive situations because they are afraid the person abusing them will abuse their pet if they leave for a shelter, the vast majority of which don’t accept pets. Or the abuser threatens to kill the pet if the abused says she is leaving and she, therefore, stays keeping herself and her pet in peril. 

Ahimsa House (ahimsa means non violence) looks at the connection between domestic abuse and animal abuse, and, not surprisingly, has found a link. When an abused person flees her house (I’m using the feminine, but, of course, I mean he or she in all these cases), Ahimsa House will coordinate care of her pets, including providing veterinary care, boarding, safety planning, and legal advocacy.  The idea is to offer all services that can, as Ahimsa’s website says, “help the human and animal victims of domestic violence reach safety together.”  

Ahimsa works with domestic violence shelters to care for the animals while their owners are in the shelters. They will keep the pets for 30 days, often in foster homes or at animal shelters.  In addition to donating money, they need people who are willing to foster animals, as well as take animals to the vet and help with the 24-hour crisis line.

As I approach the two-month mark, I continue to marvel at the number of great suggestions people have made for Chooseday Tuesday and how many organizations are out there doing service in ways I’d never thought of. Ahimsa definitely falls into that category. 

Feb. 26: Ahimsa House

57 down, 309 to go

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