What is believed to be the first program in Spain to offer care for the animal victims of domestic violence situations has been announced by Spain’s Link coalition, GEVHA (Grupo para el Estudio de la Violencia hacia Humanos y
Animales). The Paws Freedom Link program temporarily or permanently welcomes pets of victims of family violence.
GEVHA founder Dr. Nuria Querol reports that the premise behind PFL is the same as with more established programs in the U.S. and elsewhere: to prevent animals from becoming objects of revenge or control over the partner and children, and to enable those living under this abuse to escape. Spain, however, lacks pet protection order laws that enable judges to include animals in protection-from-abuse orders and no women's shelters in the nation allow residential pets to accompany survivors. Several animal protection organizations scattered throughout Spain will shelter and maintain these animals, ensuring maximum confidenciality and privacy for the victims and security to prevent the abusers from reclaiming the animals.
The Program is directed by Officers Sònia Pujol and David Carrasco. Freedom Paws Link can be found at FB.