We implemented our PAWS project (Pets and Women’s Shelter) during Domestic Violence Month by walking dogs in the NWMSU Homecoming Parade October 2011. Read more about the impact of PAWS.

Approximately 78% of women entering domestic violence shelters report that a partner has threatened, injured, or killed the family pet. Over 20% of victims have delayed their decision to leave or have gone back to their abuser because of their concern for their pet, according to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

Our goal is that every individual, who is a victim of domestic violence and/or sexual assault, in our service area has a safe place to reside while they are addressing their issues. We definitely do not want victims to stay in unsafe environments because of concern for pets care and safety. The types of animals currently being accepted include cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, fish, guinea pigs, and small farm animals as long as a local farmer will allow to house the animal.


There are approximately 2500 domestic violence shelters in the United States. Currently, 60 shelters allow pets. (When we received this grant we were the only shelter between Nevada and Ohio which was an approved PAWS shelter).

North Star Advocacy Center received a PAWS grant to construct a space in the new garage to house the pets and an area for individuals or families to play with their pets while they are in shelter. St. Gregory’s Public Achievement group (Avery Baker, Laney Graham, Tori Frueh, Nick Alee, and Leah Jasiniski, with Shelly Robertson) had a lemonade stand to raise funds for “Pause for PAWS”. With this money they donated a pet carrier, pet cage and gift card towards the PAWS project.

We partner with the New Nodaway County Humane Society Animal Shelter with this project. It is the client’s responsibility to care for their pet. To ensure the safety of everyone at the Center, pets must be up to date with shots, medications and city license requirements. Clients must provide any vet or pet records within 24 hours of being in shelter.

Because we are in the beginning phases of this project, we anticipate future needs might include an outside kennel, igloo dog house, cat litter, litter boxes, litter scoopers, litter disposal bags, dog food, puppy food, cat food, kitten food, dog leashes, crates/portable carriers, towels/blankets for crates, cleaning supplies, and gift cards/vouchers for clients who are unable to buy food, litter, or other perishable items.  Current needs are listed on Facebook at