"The Link" between human and nonhuman animal abuse is well documented, as is the prevalence of speciesist sheltering in Ontario’s emergency shelter system. Very few intimate partner violence (IPV) facilities co-shelter both women and their companion animals, despite consistent recommendations for inclusive, multispecies housing and care. This session reports on how trailblazers in the IPV sector sought solutions to this barrier to safety and recovery through radical acts of inclusion, proactively planning and implementing care with due diligence, while overcoming perceived and actual obstacles to co-sheltering in the province. This research seeks to forefront voices on the front-line of IPV shelter work, offering possibilities for practical intervention, grounded firmly in the experiences of care workers closest to the persistent barrier of human-only sheltering.
- Most intimate partner violence emergency shelters in Ontario admit human-only families, despite persistent recommendations to include companion animals in housing and care plans
- Co-sheltering in IPV shelters is occurring in a select few IPV shelters in Ontario, addressing the barrier of species-based admission in these spaces
- Practical and informed solutions to species-specific sheltering