*Amy’s name has been changed to protect her and her animals.
Stories like Amy’s are all too common in New Mexico, where domestic violence is a plague on our community. According to the New Mexico Interpersonal Violence Data Central Repository, in 2011 there were 21,368 victims in 18,740 domestic violence incidents reported to statewide law enforcement agencies. While, to our knowledge, no statewide data are kept on the number of animals involved in those incidents, published research suggests that a very large percentage of cases involve animals as victims themselves and as leverage against another abuse victim in the household.
Domestic violence victims often count their animals among the few sources of comfort in their lives, and abusers know that. They threaten to harm those animals as a way of controlling the movements and actions of their victims. Often, the only way victims will seek the help they want and need is if they know their animals can also be completely safe. That’s where the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) Network comes in.
Created in 1999 in response to an unmet need in New Mexico, the CARE Network has been helping women and their animals in our state ever since. From the very beginning, the CARE program has had support from New Mexico’s domestic violence prevention community, in recognition of the value of the program to families and their well-being. The CARE Network has undergone many changes over the years, but one thing has remained a constant: Women and their animals who need help have had somewhere to turn for help.
APNM recently teamed up with domestic violence service providers in Albuquerque and Valencia County, and has identified a number of ways the CARE program can provide even better service to women and their animals. APNM hopes to expand and improve its level of CARE Network services, but we need the community’s help to do so.
Please learn about our modest plans and make an online contribution; do your part to help those who desperately need a leg up. We aim to raise about $3,000 right now, and we’re already part way to our goal.
Even a small donation will help create big change that will be magnified as more people and animals are helped through the CARE Network.
Finally, if you can’t contribute money but you can regularly contribute your time to the CARE program, please contact us and we will help turn your labor into meaningful results.
Whatever you do, please forward this lifesaving information to people on your email list, to friends, neighbors, co-workers and anyone else who knows how important it is to lend a hand to those in need.
Thank you for CARE-ing about the human and non-human victims of domestic violence in our community!