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Humane Society To Launch Domestic Violence Support Program With New Grant

Humane Society President and CEO Gary Weitzman (left) accepting a check from ...

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Above: Humane Society President and CEO Gary Weitzman (left) accepting a check from Ginny Scharbarth (far right), co-founder and executive director of Kathy's Legacy Foundation, which donated $20,000 to the San Diego Humane Society to provide temporary care for pets of domestic violence victims, April 22, 2019.

The local nonprofit Kathy's Legacy Foundation donated $20,000 to the San Diego Humane Society on Monday to celebrate a new partnership between the two organizations to support victims of domestic violence.

With the grant, the Humane Society will launch a domestic violence support program for victims and their pets. Domestic violence victims often stay in dangerous situations because they're concerned for the fate of their pets if they attempt to escape, according to Humane Society President and CEO Gary Weitzman.

The Humane Society plans to collaborate with local domestic violence and women's shelters to provide temporary animal care, pet food and necessary resources to ensure each pet's safety.

"We're going to be launching our program to find domestic violence solutions for people that are seeking refuge in those circumstances," Weitzman said. "We're going to make sure that their animals are safe, that people understand that they have a place they can bring their animals ... and that they themselves can then seek safety, as well."

The foundation was formed after the 2011 murder of Kathy Scharbarth, a victim of domestic violence whose dog, Lady, witnessed her murder, according to Ginny Scharbarth, Kathy's mother and the foundation's co-founder and executive director. The foundation works to support domestic violence victims and their pets from harm and trauma.

"For all the pets, for all the ladys out there, we would like to have a program that would support them and the victim so that they will leave their situation and not feel like they can't leave because of their pets," Ginny Scharbarth said.

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