August 9, 2018 – Guelph – Community Veterinary Outreach, the Guelph Humane Society and Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis have partnered up on a new program, “Pets in Transition,” which provides temporary emergency foster homes and care for the pets of women leaving domestic violence.

Domestic violence and animal abuse often co-occur. Few domestic violence shelters in Canada allow pets, so many women leaving abuse face a hard choice – stay in a violent home to take care of their animals or leave them behind.

“Not having a safe place for pets to go has often been a barrier to women leaving an abusive situation,” explains Jacinta Cassidy, Program Manager at Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis. According to recent studies, as many as 59% of abused women who have pets delay leaving violent relationships because they fear leaving pets behind but don’t have anywhere else to keep them.

Pets in Transition supports women leaving abuse by making sure that everyone in the home, human and animal, has a safe place to stay and to heal from violence. The Guelph Humane Society intakes pets and places them with foster caregivers who have undergone specialized training in caring for animals who may have experienced violence. Veterinary assessments and care are provided by Community Veterinary Outreach.

Melissa Stolz, Volunteer & Animal Program Manager at the Guelph Humane Society says, “The foster parents have shown a great deal of passion for this program and have been making generous accommodations for their Pets in Transition foster animals to make them feel as comfortable as possible in their foster home.”

“It is wonderful to be able to offer women a safe place for their pets to go while they rebuild their lives,” says Cassidy.

The program also offers pet safety planning, public education, referrals and resources for women transitioning to violence-free lives. Women who need support or would like more information about the program can call the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis 24-Hour Crisis Line: 519-836-5710 or 1-800-265-7233.

Those interested in fostering or in contributing to this program by making a monetary donation can contact the Guelph Humane Society at 519-824-3091 or  Find out more information about this program here.


The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives we can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding.

Visit to discover more.


Community Veterinary Outreach began in 2003 providing preventative health care to animals of the homeless at the Ottawa Mission, and is now also operating in many cities across Canada. Our pop-up clinics are staffed with volunteers, animals are examined, vaccinated, treated for internal and external parasites, and owners receive education and advice on nutrition, dental care, behaviour, and the benefits of sterilization. We accept clients on a referral basis from community partnerships that serve our target population of the homeless, at-risk homeless, and street-involved. By providing preventive veterinary education and care to the animals of those in need, we improve not only the health of the animal, but also contribute to protecting public health, support the physical and emotional well-being of their owners or guardians, and engage a vulnerable population in social and health services. We help to maintain a strong and healthy human-animal bond for those to whom that bond may be the most significant relationship in their life.

Visit to learn more.


Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis is a feminist community-based organization providing services to women and their children on domestic and sexual violence. We believe our services must be inclusive and equitable for all individuals accessing our programs while being responsive to issues of race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and/or abilities.

Our programs:
· Marianne’s Place (shelter)
· Transitional and Housing Support Program (THSP)
· Family Court Support Program (FCSP)
· Rural Women’s Support Program (RWSP)
· Sexual Assault Centre (SAC)
· 24-hour Crisis Line
· Anti-Human Trafficking Program

There are no fees for any G-W Women in Crisis services. Visit our website for more information:


For media interviews or further information, contact:

Melissa Stolz
Volunteer & Animal Program Coordinator
Guelph Humane Society

Shane Bateman
Regional Veterinary Co-Director
Community Veterinary Outreach

Jacinta Cassidy
Program Manager
Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis
519-836-6831 ext. 229