|
|
The Suburbanite
  • Pets find care while owners seek help

  • Peace for Pets fosters pets, offers a trap, neuter and return (TNR) program for feral cats and runs an educational program to teach children and adults how to treat and care for pets.

    • email print
  • Asked if she would provide a foster home for Trinkit and Dutchess, Jean Crowe knew she didn’t have a choice. Of course she would.
    Trinkit, a Yorkie, and Dutchess, a German Shepherd mix, needed a temporary home until their owner could reclaim her life from domestic abuse. Crowe understood the owner’s dilemma.
    “I was in a violent situation myself with children, not pets, so I understood,” Crowe said. “I also know a lot of people think of their pets as children, so when Judith (Snyder) and Joy (Wagner) asked if I could help, I did so gladly. In fact, I was the first person to become a foster for pets.”
    PEACE FOR PETS
    That call for help was initiated by Peace for Pets, a new nonprofit organization in Stark County that serves several community needs. Operated by Wagner, a Canton attorney, and  Snyder, the agency fosters pets, offers a trap, neuter and return (TNR) program for feral cats and runs an educational program to teach children and adults how to treat and care for pets.
    Wagner noted they already have started providing the service on a limited basis and are now recruiting foster homes for pets.
    The women subscribe to the Safe Haven for Animals Program that can accommodate more than one pet at a time. Safe Haven is a program for women entering a Domestic Violence shelter.
    An initial screening interview takes place with a Peace for Pets/Safe Haven for Animals representative before a decision is made. Once the animal is accepted into the program, pets in the Safe Haven program are provided with foster care and medical care if needed, at no charge to the pet owner.
    “Anytime you can remove a barrier for a victim of domestic violence in escaping a situation it is going to be helpful,” said Melissa Pearce, executive director and chief executive officer at Domestic Violence Project.
    In homes where violence is prevalent, pets are often threatened, injured or killed by the abuser.
    “Many times, victims stay because their pet is the only living thing they have. When the abuse escalates to physical violence against their pet, they realize they are in danger and will leave,” Pearce said.
    Pearce said although the shelter has had informal ways of handing pets in the past, Peace for Pets is formalizing the procedures. It makes it easier for women to make a choice, knowing their pet will be taken care of while they are away.
    ANIMAL CARE
    Feral cats are free-roamers that were born in the wild, were set free to fend for themselves or are lost. Peace for Pets loans humane traps. Once the cat is caught, it is taken to be spayed or neutered. Peace for Pets started its feral cats program in January 2010.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We don’t do the trapping ourselves,” said Snyder.
    Volunteer Toby Frank, Wagner and Snyder hold seminars throughout the year to train others how to trap a feral cat. The women work closely with other animal rescue groups to help animals.
    “Peace for Pets is something Judith and I have been thinking about, dreaming about and wanting to do for some time. We’ve wanted to do something broader than finding an animal and finding a home for it. We bought a mini farm in Canton Township, and all of a sudden, we had a mini-farm going on,” Wagner said. “We were taking dogs, and some cats, and finding homes for them. They just came to us.”
    Their focus now is on helping women in Domestic Violence shelters, helping to educate pet owners and working with volunteers to help with feral cats.
    “When I first heard about the Peace for Pets programs, I felt compelled to be a part of their humanitarian efforts,” said board member, Dr. Pamela Fisher, a veterinarian in North Canton. “Hosting the Peace for Pets training programs at my Holistic Pet Therapy Center is one of the ways I can help educate and bring awareness of the Peace for Pets and other programs that benefit our community.”
    To contact Peace for Pets, call 330-484-9537 or email peaceforpets@hotmail.com.