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New programs aims to help pets from domestic violence homes

A New Start in Life was started by the Piedmont Animal Welfare Alliance, or PAWA, to help animals when their owners end up in domestic violence shelters.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — There are many reasons why domestic violence victims chose not to leave their abuser. Sometimes it's because they don't want to leave their pets behind.

Now, a new program in Forsyth County is working to make a change.

The Piedmont Animal Welfare Alliance or also known as PAWA was created in 2018. They partner with prisons for their program call New Leash on Life. This program has inmates help train shelter dogs to make them more adoptable.

Their new program, A New Start in Life, helps make sure domestic violence victims' pets are taken care of.

PAWA helps pay for medical costs, food and boarding, if needed. Usually, the pet stays with a foster. 

Candide Jones, president of PAWA, said this allows survivors to focus on healing.

"They can see that their animal, their pet, their beloved pet is being well taken care of, and it just eases one of their many burdens, " Jones said.

Jones said 71% of animals in homes of domestic violence are also abused. It's one of the reasons why victims will stay with their abusers. Plus, she said shelters can't take pets.

"They can maybe stay in the basement for a night, but then we have to find foster homes and if we can't we have to pay for boarding," Jones said.

Jones said they are in desperate need of fosters. If you're interested in helping, you can send an email to pawapiedmont@gmail.com or message them on their Facebook page.

PAWA is also having a fundraiser.

There will be a yard sale in the Ardmore Neighborhood of Winston-Salem on Saturday, May 21. It will be from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The address is 744 Magnolia Street Winston, Salem 27103.

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