Cllr Karen Chilvers

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Dog Fostering


Thanks for visiting this page – this is a “pet project” that I’ve been trying to promote for the last couple of years and we’re looking for dog foster carers in the Brentwood area.


Could you become a dog foster carer and help women escape domestic violence?

The Dogs Trust Freedom Project is a unique dog-fostering scheme that enables women and their families to escape domestic violence, safe in the knowledge that their beloved pets will be cared for until they are safely re-housed and in a position to take the dog back. The scheme which has been running for the last four years has been in such demand that we are now appealing for new volunteer foster carers. The scheme was set up in response to research that indicated a link between animal abuse and domestic violence. Men who are violent to women may threaten to harm or actually kill a beloved pet in order to intimidate their partner and maintain power and control. This may cause some women and children to remain in a violent domestic situation simply for fear of what might happen to their pet if they flee without him or her.

Here’s just one example:  Mac could still be alive and enjoying life with Alison if he’d been fostered.

Who are Dogs Trust looking for? Dogs Trust is appealing for volunteers with experience of owning or looking after a dog. They must be available during the day to look after the dog and also be flexible in the kind of breeds they will foster. What are the Benefits? Becoming a foster carer offers companionship and the unconditional love that a dog can give; with the knowledge that you are helping women, children and dogs escape domestic violence. This is ideal for people who love dogs, but cannot commit long term to owning a dog.

There is no cost to the foster carer, as during the foster placement the Freedom Project provides all pet food and veterinary treatment free of charge. Freedom Project staff provide help and support, and monitor each placement on a regular basis. Total anonymity is assured, both for women using this service and the foster carers.

You need to:

– Be patient, committed and have a genuine love of animals.
– Experience of owning/looking after a dog.
– Available during the day (not leaving a foster dog for more than 4 hours).
– Flexible about the types of breed you will foster and agree to hand your foster dog back when requested.
– Able to commit to the project for at least 6 months.

For more information regarding becoming a foster carer you can contact Karen for an informal chat and she will put you in touch with the Dogs Trust Freedom Project or you can visit their website: