The sooner we open our shelter, the sooner we can start caring for pets while their families escape abuse.
$52,685 of $200,000

With domestic violence rates increasing at an alarming rate, pets and their families need our help to leave abuse now more than ever. Cruelty to animals is common in domestic violence. People who use violence will often threaten, injure and even kill a pet to control family members. Because of this, many victims are staying in dangerous relationships to protect their animals. A safe haven for pets will mean they can escape and leave violence behind.

Pet Refuge will provide temporary accommodation for pets while their owners find safety. We’ve nearly completed building the shelter and we need your help to open the doors.

All funds raised will go towards the running costs of the shelter, including:

  • Food
  • Bedding and blankets
  • Toys and exercise equipment
  • Vets’ fees
  • Medication
  • Transport
  • Expert animal carers, case workers and support staff

Shelter staff will be qualified and trained to ensure the best care of animals, including expert measures to minimise stress. We will also have a team of experienced and trained staff working with victims, to support them at a scary and difficult time while they make the brave decision to leave.

Reaching our fundraising target of $200,000 will ensure Pet Refuge can open its doors with enough funding to run the shelter for the first six months. It will mean we can be here to support pets and their families for as long as they need us.

Since the shelter build was announced last year Pet Refuge has been contacted by more than 100 victims asking for help, so the demand is already high.

Join us as we prepare to open New Zealand’s first shelter dedicated to pets affected by domestic violence, because no one should have to live a life of abuse.

Pet Refuge New Zealand will provide temporary shelter for pets affected by domestic violence, keeping them safe while their owners escape abuse.

We believe no one should have to live with violence. We are currently building a shelter which will ensure pet owners know their animals are safe while they start a new life free from domestic violence.

How you can help

The 2018 Women's Refuge survey of women whose pets were abused as part of domestic violence found:


had an animal killed by their partner


delayed leaving family violence out of fear for their pet’s safety


would have found it easier to leave if there was a shelter offering temporary accommodation for their pets

We know having animals can make it significantly harder for people to remove themselves and their children from violent households.

Dr Ang Jury - CEO Women's Refuge New Zealand