CSS Student Helps Rescue Pets from Domestic Abuse

Heidi Voigt

While there are many reasons for victims of domestic abuse to remain in a situation, including children and economic dependence, an issue rarely thought about is pets. Saint Scholastica student Hannah Geiger in now involved with a program which aims to correct this. Geiger, working with the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA), has connected with a local animal shelter to provide pets of domestically abused individuals with a refuge.

This program, now called Twin Ports Pet Safe Housing, was formed by a collaboration with CASDA and a local animal shelter which remains unnamed to protect the pets. This program allows victims to get back on their feet by placing their pets in temporary foster homes.

Twin Ports Pet Safe Housing is set to open in February of 2018 if the organization can make their fundraising goal. While the animals’ foster parents receive no stipend for the care of the animal, the animals still require veterinary care which is paid by the program. Even routine care can cost up to $500 dollars per animal. Twin Ports Pet Safe Housing is looking to cover these costs and any emergency needs of the animals.

Geiger said the idea of the project began in her freshman Dignitas class which stressed the importance of community involvement. Her professor, Shawna Weaver, created a second semester project which required the students to facilitate their own volunteer work.

“It was one of my favorite projects during my entire college career so far and really inspired a passion for social justice,” said Geiger.

Geiger was working as a TA in the same class the following year when Weaver mentioned this project to her and suggested that she begin an internship.

For other students looking to develop a community program, Geiger suggested building connections with CSS professors.

“If you can connect with one professor who shares your common interests, then I guarantee they will help you find some great opportunities in our community,” she said.

Additional information on Twin Ports Pet Safe Housing and an online donation platform can be found on the program’s GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/TPPetSafeHousing.