Last Saturday KING 5 reported that Portland-based Fences for Fido built a dog park for dogs of homeless women. The dog park is located at Kirkland’s Lake Washington United Methodist Church in Kirkland.
KING 5 said Fences for Fido built the dog park in conjunction with the church’s Safe Parking Program, which allows “40-50 women and families stay in cars in the parking lot.”
Women in abusive relationships often don’t leave their abuser because they can’t take their pets with them.
“It’s a major problem,” Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of URIPALS, told Project Earth. “As many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive relationships for fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind. Pets are members of the family and no one, especially victims of domestic violence, should have to make the impossible decision to leave their pets behind during times of crisis.”
Government officials and nonprofits have begun to understand this critical relationship between the homeless (especially homeless women) and their pets. That’s why more homeless shelters in the Seattle area accept pets.
Lake Washington United Methodist Church’s Safe Parking Program expanded on this concept. By teaming with Fences for Fido, it allows homeless women not only the to stay with their dogs, but also gives them a space to exercise and play with them.
“The fact that the church has stepped up and is utilizing their facilities to help these women makes it even more important that we step up and help them keep their pets because their pets are their family and their friends,” Michele Coppola of Fences for Fido told KING 5.