TODAY |

Help needed to get NZ's first shelter for pets affected by family violence up and running

New Zealand's first shelter for pets affected by family violence is preparing to open its doors.

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Pet Refuge and Women’s Refuge have partnered to create the facility. Source: Seven Sharp

It's the brainchild of Julie Chapman, the founder of children's charity KidsCan.

Chapman says many victims of family harm stay, because they can't bring themselves to leave their pet behind.

“Seventy-three per cent of women in our survey with Women's Refuge, said they would have left sooner if there was somewhere for their pets to go,” she told Seven Sharp.

When the shelter is complete it will have space for 22 dogs and smaller companion animals like rabbits and birds.

The service will be free and nationwide.

"We have great partnerships with transport companies who will bring pets to us as well if outside greater Auckland area."

Chapman herself purchased the land for the shelter.

"I was left money by my parents when they passed away, and my dad said to me what will you do with the house money and I said I'm going to create a pet refuge to help animals - he gave me a thumbs up for that."

They now need the public's help to complete the fit-out.

Click here if you’d like to contribute towards Pet Refuge NZ.