Abbie's Safe Home: State's first pet shelter for victims of domestic violence officially opens

abbie's safe home
Posted at 3:30 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 16:31:57-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A pet shelter has officially opened at the Weaver Domestic Violence Center, the state's largest emergency domestic violence shelter for women and children.

On Wednesday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the facility, attended by community and civic leaders.

The YWCA heard from victims on the crisis line that choosing to leave a home when a pet is there is extremely difficult. The YWCA looked at studies that found nearly half of all domestic violence victims chose to remain in a violent home because pets had nowhere to go.

"This pet shelter is a game-changer in the fight against domestic violence," said Sharon K. Roberson, president and CEO of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee. "Every week our crisis counselors take calls from victims who need to flee, but they won’t because they would have to leave their pets behind. Thanks to our generous community, victims and their pets can seek safety together at Abbie’s Safe Home right here on the campus of the Weaver Center."

YWCA volunteer and board member Gail Alexander led the effort to expand the programming of the campus. She and her late mother, Abbie Wallace, contributed the initial investment in the program. The facility has been named "Abbie's Safe Home" in Wallace's honor.

Up to eight dogs and six cats can be housed in the shelter at a time. The YWCA anticipates the shelter will help and heal up to 100 pets every year.

For more information on the Weaver Domestic Violence Center, click here.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, call the 24-hour Crisis & Support Helpline – 800-334-4628 or 24-hour Textline 615-983-5170.