Twin Ports Pet Safe Housing campaign photo submitted by Hannah Geiger.

Update: Twin Ports Pet Safe Housing Project Underway as Foster Families Begin Training in February

Katelynne Schatz

Readers met Hannah Geiger, a junior marketing and management major, last December when the Cable first learned about the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA)’s new project, Twin Ports Pet Safe Housing (TPPSH). Geiger works on and helped start the project as an intern under the supervision of her three-year mentor, Shawna Weaver.

CASDA and its affiliates have raised $1,610 so far out of their short term goal of $2,000 on GoFundMe for the project. CASDA will be holding a press release soon, so Geiger hopes that more interest and donations will come their way.

In addition to donations, foster families are an integral part of this project. After families apply as volunteers, CASDA’s volunteer coordinator evaluates them for the best fit with the pets. Though their fundraising goal has not yet been met, TPPSH will begin training its foster families in February and launch the actual program in May of this year.

TPPSH is unlike other pet programs because it places pets with these foster families while their owners are recuperating. When a survivor comes to CASDA with their animal, they will sign a document releasing their pet to the TPPSH for 30 days, though owners can have their pet back at any time. The release simply allows CASDA the legal protection to provide any medical care for the pets while in their care. Survivors generally will not know where their animal is placed, but “they know that their animal is being cared for and loved” according to Geiger. The uncertainty of their pet’s location allows survivors time to “stay focused on their own health” rather than the status of their animal.

“We really need volunteers,” said Geiger.

Students could choose their degree of involvement from passing out project flyers to sharing the program’s mission on social media.

“Even if you don’t have the skill set, if you have a passion for social justice, and families, and survivors of domestic abuse or gender violence,” Geiger
urges students to get involved and volunteer.

As with other volunteer opportunities, students can add the experience to their resumes as well as help humans and animals in need.