Domestic violence center seeks volunteers for foster pet program
The Domestic Violence Service Center is looking for volunteers for its foster care pet program. Go to tnonline.com to hear Sherry Castrine speak about what this program means to victims. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
The Domestic Violence Service Center, which serves residents in Carbon and Luzerne counties, is looking to expand the number of volunteers it has in its foster care pet program.
The program aims to provide a service to victims of domestic violence who may have been reluctant to leave a bad situation because they fear for the safety of the pet they would be leaving behind.
According to the program’s description, in 85 percent of the homes where there is domestic violence, an animal is also abused.
“If this program is available, the person can go and their pet can safely be taken care of until that person can get back on their feet and make it on their own,” said Sherry Castrine, development coordinator at the Domestic Violence Service Center.
The foster care program is made possible through volunteers who foster the pets while the victim is in a shelter and safe from abuse. Volunteers care for the animals until the person is ready to leave the shelter.
Castrine said volunteers are trained and select what types of animals they would be willing to foster. Their pets must also be up-to-date on all vaccinations and friendly with other animals.
“If someone calls at 2 a.m. and says ‘I want to leave my spouse, but what about my pet?’ we will call our volunteers and see what they feel comfortable handling, whether it be a dog, cat or bird,” Castrine said.
There are also other volunteer opportunities available through the Domestic Violence Service Center, including assisting with fundraising, providing child care, counseling and advocating for victims, answering the 24-hour hotline, attending health fairs and outreach events and more.
To become a volunteer in the foster care pet program or for other ways to volunteer, call Tammy Rodgers, volunteer/educator coordinator at the Domestic Violence Service Center, at 570-823-6799, ext. 238, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.