Questions & answers for professionals

Here are some frequently asked questions that professionals ask us. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Q: How can I refer an individual I am working with to your service?

A: If you work for a service who support victims/survivors of domestic violence and abuse such as Refuges, Domestic Violence and Abuse and Services, Sexual Violence and Abuse Services, the Police, Housing, Mental Health Teams, Housing, Substance Misuse Services, Social Care and so on you can refer people to our service.  A recent DASH Risk Assessment by the referrer must have been completed with the outcome being medium or high risk.

To make a referral complete one of our referral forms and email it to us via the secure email address on the referral form. If you do not have access to secure email please make sure the form is password protected and send this separately. If you do not have a copy of our referral form please contact us.

Q: What type of animals can we foster?

A: Dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles and small animals such as hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs and so on. Please do contact us if there are other pets that need fostering and we will do our best to help.

Q: Who will foster pets?

A: Pet foster carers are volunteers who work for Refuge4Pets and they are committed to caring for animals.  All of our foster carers are carefully recruited to make sure they can offer the best possible foster homes.  We have pet foster carers across the South West which means we can place pets in an area where they will be safe.

Q: Will the owner know where their pet is?

A: To ensure the safety of pets and their foster carers we will not share the details about where animals have been placed in foster care with owners as we understand the tactics perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse may use.  We will be guided by the owner and you about which geographical areas pets will be safest and what type of environment pets will be happiest in.  The owner’s safety is also very important to us and we will agree with the owner and you a safe way to keep in contact.  We will not share any information with our foster carers about the owner.  Our pet foster carers agree and adhere to a strict confidentiality policy and will not share any pictures of pets with anyone or on any social media.

Q: How long can a pet stay in a foster placement?

A: It is difficult to give a definite time scale as a placement could be anything from one night of emergency care to six months, or longer for some pets while owners find suitable, safe accommodation and are in a position to be reunited with their pets.

Q: How will owners know how their pets are doing?

A: We will agree safe contact arrangements with owners and we will contact owners or a support worker who has the owner’s consent to talk to us regularly to give updates and pet owners can call us too.

Q: Will owners need to pay anything?

A: All food, accessories, bedding and vet bills will be paid for by Refuge4Pets while pets are with us. Owners can make contributions but there is no expectation placed on them to do so.

Q: What if a pet becomes unwell while in foster care?

A: All pets will receive a health check at the start of their foster placement and ongoing vet treatment as needed. This will be paid for by Refuge4Pets.  If a pet develops a serious, natural health condition while in foster placement we will work with the owner and veterinarians to decide the best course of action.

Q: What do owners do when they are ready to be reunited with their pets?

A: Just get in touch and we will make the arrangements to reunite them. We would like as much notice as possible though as we are taking care of lots of pets.