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LAS VEGAS – When domestic violence survivors think about leaving their abusers, one deterrent is leaving their pets behind. Pets are allowed in very few women’s shelters, but one Nevada nonprofit aims to break down that barrier.

Noah’s Animal House aims to keep domestic violence survivors united with their pets in partnership with a women’s shelter next door. One survivor traveled half an hour across the country to be there.


Granthshala News is calling her “Sarah” to protect her privacy.

“Can you do high five? Now please say so. Good job. Good boy,” Sarah says while playing with her dog, Baxter.

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The Baxter family. And leaving him behind was not an option for Sarah. She was in an abusive relationship for 10 years.

Overwhelmed by more ‘pandemic pets’ being returned to animal shelters

One day she decided that she and her kids and Baxter were leaving.

“For about three weeks, we slept in a car with Baxter because I didn’t know there was a place,” Sarah said. “And I was making some calls and they said you can go to Noah, and we’ve been here ever since.”

Noah’s Animal House Formed in 2007 in partnership with shade tree Shelter for homeless and abused women and children.

It was the first combination shelter of its kind.

As of this month, Noah’s Animal House has helped 2,021 pets from 34 different states.

“Your dog or cat is such an important part of your family that so many women won’t leave their abuser because they can’t leave their animal behind,” said board member Lori Craft.

At the time the pet shelter opened, there were only 3% of women’s shelters that provided pet services. Since then it has climbed to about 20%.

“We wanted to make sure there were no barriers for a woman experiencing domestic violence and that she was allowed to let go of her abuse.”

Between its two locations in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, Noah’s Animal House can care for 80 pets at a time, providing veterinary care, food, toys, and private cuddle rooms.

“Living in a domestic violence shelter doesn’t really feel normal, but being in a cuddle room, hanging out with your cat or dog, and it feels like home,” Kraft said.

Noah's Animal House was founded in 2007 to help domestic violence survivors live with their pets.  (Ashley Soriano/Fox News)

Sarah and her kids have been living at The Shade Tree for four months, and they can move in with Baxter at any time.

Sara said, “She’s just like my baby. I’m not leaving her behind anywhere. She’s my everything just like my kids, and it’s my job to keep her safe too.”

She wants other victims and survivors to know there is a way out.

Sarah said, “When you’re going through it, it’s sad. It’s scary.” “But we will soon find a home and get my dog ​​back.”

Noah’s Animal House also cares for snakes, rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoises, parrots, tarantulas, ferrets and goldfish.

They accept women and children from any city or state.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and its milestone of serving 2,021 pets in 2021, Noah’s Animal House is asking $20.21 . donation of.

That amount can provide treatment for a month’s worth of shelter pets.