About Us

"Fostering and Reuniting Pets. Empowering Domestic Violence Survivors. Saving Lives."

PetsEmpower.org is a nonprofit umbrella organization increasing access to short-term fostering for domestic violence survivors in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.   We give courageous domestic violence survivors a positive alternative to pet relinquishment or remaining in abusive situations with their pet due to a lack of options to place their pet. We allow owners to find safety for themselves and their pets through short-term pet fostering and and later reunite, generating positive health outcomes. 

Check out PetsEmpower.org in the Huffington Post                  


A world where 1 million American domestic violence survivors preserve healing pet relationships on their journey to safety.  Loving pets cease to serve as barrier to entry to domestic violence shelters.  Survivors and their pets escape  quickly and develop the tools for lives of freedom and dignity.

Key Facts

"Only three percent of domestic violence shelters across the country accept pets."-American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

"Up to 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave." -Carlisle-Frank, Frank and Nielsen, 2004

"Nearly half of the domestic abuse victims who stay in violent households do so because they are afraid for their animals."  -Animal Legal Defense Fund 

"71 percent of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; 32 percent reported their children had hurt or killed animals." -National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

"52 percent of victims in shelters leave their pets with their batterers." -National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

"Last year as a matter of fact we had 48 victims of domestic violence call us for assistance as a shelter. When we told them we couldn't take any pets they never came in." Committee to Aid Abused Women (CAAW) Noah's Animal House, Nevada

"The recidivism rate for women staying at The Shade Tree shelter without pets is more than 10 percent; while the return rate for women with pets is less than 2 percent. Simply stated, the healing power provided by the pets during the stay at the shelter has proven to break the cycle of abuse." (Noah's Animal Shelter)

"Frequently emotionally they (domestic violence survivors) are so battered down and feel so badly about themselves pets are the bedrock in their lives.  Literally if you take away that (pet) you literally take away everything from them." Liz Grieb Safe Embrace, Nevada



PetsEmpower.org is participating in the 2017 Social Enterprise Greenhouse Program! SEG helps organizations like PetsEmpower turn social enterprise ideas into action.  We could not be more excited about this opportunity.

PetsEmpower.org is also grateful to be part of 2017 ACCELERATE BOSTON cohort!

Thanks MIT Sandbox for $3,000 grant

Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School students select PetsEmpower.org to participate in the Harvard #SECON2017 Pitch Competition! 

We are grateful to join the MassChallenge 2017 Startup Bootcamp Series Powered by the E.M. Kauffman Foundation

PetsEmpower.org was chosen as one of @emmaemail's 2017 #Emma25 honorees, one of the top 25 nonprofits from across the United States. 





Also, our founder, Jordan Ross, recently earned a scholarship from GCSEN. Watch the video and learn more about how PetsEmpower helps the community.

Share your story

We are accepting 30 second (max) videos, as well as written submissions about how your pet has helped you through a difficult life challenge. Click submit to email your submission. 

We would love to feature you!