Pet foster program of VAW shelter clients in Ottawa and surrounding areas

What We Do

What is The FAM Network?

The FAM Network fosters animals for people who need to flee domestic/interpersonal/family violence or sex trafficking into the safety of local Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters or into a Transitional Housing Support Program; as well as for those who are seeking in-patient treatment for mental health and/or substance abuse and for select circumstances for short-term hospitalization.

We are veterinary clinics, fosters, behaviourists and sometimes your next-door neighbour.

We provide necessary veterinary intake and long- or short-term fostering for the duration that the family is in shelter or THSP or in program.

Upon exiting a shelter, we reunite owners with their pets so that they can move into a better future together.

In Canada:

89% of surveyed participants report their abusers engaged in animal abuse;

82% of bestiality cases involve the sexual abuse of a child;

65% of surveyed participants report their abuser used physical harm to their animals to control, coerce or punish them;

56% of women who flee violence report delaying leaving their abusers due to concerns about the family pet;

14.5% of participants report their abuser killed their animals; and

1/3 of those that do flee report returning to either check on the family pet or to move back in with the abuser because of the pet.


SafePet Ottawa What We Do

Delay can be deadly. The FAM Network saves lives.

Please consider becoming a FAM Network foster and provide shelter to animals in need of safety.


Everyone counts.

Volunteers are greatly appreciated to help us spread the word about the helpful services we offer, to conduct invaluable research and to coordinate community events & fundraisers. Fill-out an application today to join our amazing team!

SaePet Ottawa Who We Are

How does The FAM Network work?

Pet Fosters in the Ottawa area (men & women over 18 years of age) take-in pets that belong to survivors who are fleeing domestic violence. The Fosters provide pets with food, shelter and appropriate exercise so that survivor at risk of abuse can stay in safety at the VAW shelter until they are ready to exit without having to worry about their pets’ well being.

The FAM Network participating veterinarians provide assistance to us by serving as a neutral location where the pet owner can drop-off their pet for admittance into The FAM Network program. The veterinarian then completes a health exam and administers any needed vaccinations to the animal. The identities of the pet’s owner and foster are kept strictly confidential for the security and well being of the pet and volunteers.

Once the survivor exits the shelter, they are reunited with their pet(s). The hub for pick-ups and transfers between foster and owner is at a participating veterinary practice.

Usually, the referring social/case worker will arrange transport for the survivor from her current residence to the shelter, so the drop-off of the pet will be done on the way to the shelter.

We could use your help.

The FAM Network is a registered charitable organization funded by donations. Donate today.