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Domestic violence shelters now have a resource to find safe housing for victims' pets

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Family pets can be a source of comfort and protection to domestic violence victims, and often a source of leverage for abusers to keep their victims close.

Up to 40% of domestic violence victims are unwilling to go to a shelter because they’re concerned with what will happen to pets left behind with their abuser.

When Andy Bond and longtime friend, Matt Krentz, heard that many domestic violence victims didn't leave their abusers because they couldn't take their pets, they wanted to find a solution.

"We knew we had the ability to problem solve, we knew we had the ability to create the software with a technical team, but what we didn't know is the breadth of the crisis," Bond said.

After touring facilities across the country the pair got to work, co-founding BestyBnB, a technology platform that helps domestic violence shelters find safe, temporary-housing for the pets of victims.

The service is "desperately needed," said retired police officer and community-police liaison for Synergy Services Domestic Violence Shelter, Kim Shaw-Ellis.

"The organization's been extraordinarily eager and receptive and excited to have this resource and this tool so that we can extend even more services to the victim," Shaw-Ellis said.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz