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Pets are often the hidden victims of domestic violence

New Zealand’s shamefully high rate of domestic violence is well known. But the victims aren’t just people – they are pets too. Perpetrators of violence will often threaten, injure or even kill a pet to control family members.

Most people can’t take their pets with them when seeking refuge, so are having to choose between their safety and the safety of their pets. In a survey, 53% delayed leaving domestic violence out of fear for their pet’s safety.*

Pet Refuge New Zealand is currently building a shelter that will remove that barrier to leaving, by providing a safe haven for pets while their owners escape abuse.


Every pet we care for will enable a family to escape domestic violence.

Women’s Refuge, Shine and other agencies will refer victims with pets to us. We will transport these pets from around the country to our Auckland shelter. Once their family has a safe, violence-free home, they will be reunited.

We aim to help break the cycle of abuse, giving families and pets the chance to create new beginnings. With your help, we can work towards a future where having a pet will never be a barrier to escaping domestic violence.

Since we started building the shelter, more than 100 victims of family violence have contacted us asking for help with their pets. That’s why it’s so important Pet Refuge can open its shelter doors as soon as possible. We are working hard to raise money for running costs so that when the shelter build is complete, we can open immediately.

Visit to find out more or support our mission.

*2018 Women’s Refuge survey of women whose pets were abused as part of domestic violence.


Hear more about Pet Refuge from founder, Julie Chapman

Come in-centre and scan the Pet Refuge QR code on the promotion pillars in Te Awa and around external stores to vote for Pet Refuge and be in to win a $500 gift card.  You can vote/enter every day and no purchase is required.  Ts and Cs here.

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