Our website: www.ahimsahouse.org
Ahimsa House is Georgia’s only charity dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence by addressing the links between family violence and animal abuse. In up to 71% of homes where family violence occurs, the abuser also threatens, hurts, or kills the family pet as a way to terrify and control everyone else in the home. Can you imagine hearing that if you tried to escape or tell anyone what was happening, your dog or cat would die? What if you were able to escape safely with your pet, only to learn that most domestic violence shelters don’t allow animals?
As a society, when confronted with situations involving family violence, we tend to ask, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” The reality is that fear for the safety of a pet delays nearly half of victims of family abuse—women, children, and men too—from reaching safety themselves. This is a deadly web of both human safety and animal safety. Ahimsa House’s mission is to help the human AND animal victims of family violence reach safety together. We were founded by a survivor of family violence who lost her own pet while trying to reach safety. She chose the name “Ahimsa,” which means “nonviolence,” with the idea that no victim of abuse should have to choose between personal safety and the safety of a beloved pet.
Team Ahimsa House needs your support via the Peachtree Road Race this year. We receive no government grants or United Way funding, and we serve the entire state of Georgia (159 counties) with a staff of only three and a budget less than $200,000. When you pledge to raise $250 as a runner, you’ll be saving the lives of two pets by providing emergency shelter for them until their families reach safety, plus veterinary care for any injuries sustained from the abuse. We even provide transportation of pets to safety across the state and nationally, help with pet deposits in transitional housing once the family leaves the domestic violence shelter, and legal advocacy to keep abusers from using the court system to gain control of a pet. You’ll also be helping Ahimsa House bring abusers to justice by covering the cost of forensic veterinary exams to document abuse-related injuries, which can become valuable evidence in a court case.
Since our launch in 2004, we’ve provided nearly 30,000 nights of safe shelter for pets of all kinds: dogs and cats, of course, but also birds, turtles, iguanas, ferrets, hamsters, and even horses. 90% of families using our services say we not only helped them get their pets to safety, but also helped them get themselves to safety. In the words of one client, “Thanks to Ahimsa House, my dog will be able to start a new life with us as we start ours.”
Team Ahimsa House Peachtree runners will receive special recognition at our “Walk, Wag, N’ Run” dog-friendly 5K on August 24, which is also a qualifier for Peachtree 2014!