Domestic violence/animal abuse project continues to grow in Netherlands

The domestic violence project finds animals a loving home and the peaceful environment they need. Blijf van mijn Dier is a new domestic violence and animal abuse project that has been offering animal abuse victims temporary shelter with host families. The past few months, especially, have seen a significant increase in the number of animals in need of warm and loving environments. The project is really taking off.

To date we have sheltered 38 animals (16 of which have already been rehomed or reunited with their owners), up from 19 when we reported on its progress back in April.

Bobbie* is one of the animals that have stayed with us for a long time because his owner was still trying to find a good place to live herself. Although Bobbie is a very sweet dog, he  is huge, and it has been quite a challenge to find suitable host families for him. We had to relocate him twice. Although this was far from preferable, it was the best we could do. Luckily he did not seem to mind and he felt quickly at ease wherever he went.

We were very happy to be able to return Bobbie to his owner after a couple of months. Bobbie is such a big dog that we had to hire a special car to take him home. On seeing his owner again, Bobbie was so excited that he ran straight towards her. The feeling was mutual – this woman was overjoyed and made no attempt to withhold her tears. She has been allotted a home that needs a fair amount of work to make it liveable. It was therefore touching to see that even though a large part of the house had to be refurbished, she had created a lovely place for Bobbie with blankets, pillows and toys.

The domestic violence project finds animals a loving home and the peaceful environment they need. The story of Jip and Stef* clearly illustrates this goal. Jip and Stef are two small dogs that were adopted into the project together. In spite of their horrible circumstances, Jip and Stef were overjoyed when the abused animals project team came to pick them up. The vet examining the dogs found that Jip was overweight and that his teeth had been badly neglected. He urgently needed care and after consultation with his owner, Jip underwent surgery to have nearly all his teeth removed. Immediately after surgery, Jip picked up a ball with his mouth, which showed us that the pain he experienced after this major operation was nothing compared to the pain he must have suffered before surgery.

The dogs are very happy living with the host family. From the moment the dogs arrived, they stole our hearts as well as their host family’s. The owner also noticed they were thriving and she eventually decided to leave Jip and Stef with the host family as she was unable to offer the dogs what they needed so badly. It was a difficult decision, but it was the best for Jip and Stef.

Having a place to shelter their pets via this project means a lot to these women. Bobbie’s owner, for instance, told us that finding Bobbie a good place to live was a great relief to her. It also encouraged her to get her home tidied up faster to allow Bobbie to join her and her children as quickly as possible.

All the women told us they were very grateful for the project and greatly appreciated that their pets had been taken care of in such a wonderful way. One woman had even made a small work of art with the few means she had, to thank the host family and the domestic violence and animal abuse project.

We are very grateful that we have been able to mean so much for pets and their owners.


*The names in this article have been changed for safety and privacy reasons. The person and the dog in the photo have nothing to do with the project. 

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