The success of Shuswap Community Foundation is based on a simple concept. They never spend your gift, but carefully invest it. As the income builds up they only distribute the income generated by the pooled funds. Any donation you endow with them is there for good, no matter how big or small the donation.
In 2018 BC Housing, the government agency which oversees the Shuswap Area Family Emergency (SAFE) Society, mandated that women with pets as well as children be accommodated in transition houses. A pet-friendly room was prepared and opened in the SAFE Transition House, and immediately occupied. There has been high demand for the room ever since. Shortly thereafter, working in consultation with the SPCA, the Pet Shelter for Families Impacted by Violence or Trauma project was set in motion. Building is slated to begin by the end of April.
In the past, the local SPCA has provided compassionate boarding at no cost to the society, and they will continue to do so if the need arises. However, having their pets within easy access will keep both animals and families impacted by domestic violence safer, and improve eventual outcomes. Research has shown that many women who arrive at a shelter have had a family pet abused or killed, and many delayed leaving an abusive relationship because of concern for a pet. An alarming number of these women reported their abuser had carried out their threats of harm. Furthermore, witnessing violence towards animals and particularly their pets can adversely affect children. Pets are a strong component of a person’s emotional support network, especially during challenging times.
The society’s grant application to Shuswap Community Foundation (SCF) met SCF’s requirements in three critical areas: Animal Welfare, Health and Wellness, and Social Equality. 32 individual endowments provided contributions to the largest grant Shuswap Community Foundation has disbursed to date.
Featuring three indoor heated and cooled dog kennels with access to an outdoor run for each dog, and a separate potty area, the Pet Shelter will allow clients easy access to their pets, enabling them to look after their dogs themselves knowing they are safe. There will also be water for sanitization and a wash sink, storage space for food and pet items, a perimeter fence for safety and security, and an additional storage room that could become a cat room in the future. In the meantime, cats and other small pets such as gerbils and rabbits will continue to be accommodated in the main house.