Tamworth victims of domestic and family violence are one step closer to protecting their beloved animals, with work set to begin at the end of this month to build an animal shelter attached to the Tamworth Family Support Service women's refuge.
It's hoped it will be fully operational by the end of February, and service manager Lynda Townsend was thrilled to see things progressing.
"Considering that evidence suggests people who are in abusive homes are often reluctant to leave over fears of their animal's welfare, it is another step in the right direction," Ms Townsend said.
Getting the funding just before Christmas, well, it was a bit exciting.Lynda Townsend
"Getting the funding just before Christmas, well, it was a bit exciting."
In Tamworth, almost $24,000 has been allocated to establish two permanent pet enclosures on the grounds of the women's and children's shelter, and will go towards providing staff training in pet care.
The move follows the state government's proposal to legislate greater protection for victim-survivors and their pets in October, with proposed Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) reforms.
"When we are dealing with women's refuges, they are not necessarily equipped for pets, they can take the women and children, but animals add another layer of complexity," Ms Townsend said.
- For domestic and family violence support call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63) or the Men's Referral Service (1300 766 491).