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Pet Fostering Service that Supports Survivors is Rebranded

16 November 2023

person holding cat

Cats Protection recently launched their rebranded pet fostering scheme Lifeline for survivors of domestic abuse, taking over from Paws Protect.

There has been increased advertising of the rebranded service, with the television advert first airing in the break of popular show The Great British Bake Off. We are delighted to support Cats Protection to raise awareness of the Lifeline service, which will help to break down barriers for survivors of domestic abuse.

How It Works

Lifeline works in exactly the same way as Paws Protect, providing foster care for cats whilst their owner gets support or is in a refuge where pets are not allowed.

It gives the survivor the peace of mind knowing that their cat is being well looked after whilst they are receiving support, then they are able to be reunited once it is safe to do so.

Placements are expected to last up to five months – potentially longer – and carers will receive full support from the Cats Protection team throughout, whilst survivors will receive updates on how their cat is doing.

The service has been running in Norfolk for a while now, but Cats Protection are welcoming any volunteers to provide foster care for cats in their homes, with all expenses covered for foster carers.

More information about Lifeline and how to get involved can be found on the Cats Protection website.

Importance of Pet Fostering

There are many barriers to leaving a relationship, including money worries, housing, family ties, or not wanting to take children away from their school and any friends that they have made.

Pets are another barrier, and many people will be reluctant to leave their pets behind, either because they do not want to be separated from them or are concerned how the perpetrator may treat them.

As a result, some people may stay in their relationship, potentially putting themselves at greater risk of serious harm.

Fortunately, an increasing number of fostering schemes have been introduced in recent years to help to break down these barriers, ensuring the safety of both the person and pets.

They provide a lifeline for many people, meaning they do not have to give up their beloved pet whilst they receive support, and can then be reunited with them when it is safe for them to do so.

Other Schemes

This isn’t the first pet fostering scheme to be introduced in Norfolk, with the Dog’s Trust running an identical service to support dogs.

You may have seen us mention the Freedom Project in previous blogs, which works in exactly the same way and allows owners to get support while their dog is placed in foster care. An owner is then reunited with their dog once it is safe for them to do so.

We have also used similar services provided by the RSPCA in the past to support service users with pets.

It is fantastic that we now have some well-publicised pet fostering schemes available in our area, helping to break down barriers for those experiencing domestic abuse.