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  • Writer's pictureInterval House of Ottawa

Escaping Violence Together a reality!

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

On June 19, IHO officially launched the Escaping Violence Together project, ending the capital campaign we embarked on last year to build an animal housing area inside our shelter.

Living room with TV and purple accent wall

This innovative and ground-breaking project began 1.5 years ago with the support of Dr. Michelle Lem, Community Veterinary Outreach (CVO). With her guidance, we developed a vision and began this journey. We researched connections between animal abuse and violence against women (VAW), began writing proposals for funding, with Michelle's help we secured the support of animal experts, and we worked with Tauvette Construction to design – and eventually build – the area.

We had a vision, we had community partners on board, we just needed money! IHO is the only shelter for women and children escaping violence that is not fully funded by the provincial government. Every year we need to raise $120,000 just to continue operating all 30 of our beds. This is no small feat for us; we are only a small charity with limited resources. We had to ask ourselves – can we raise $120,000 to stay open plus $100,000 to complete the first stage of the animal housing area? Would the community believe in our vision and support our dream? We believed you would, and you did!

Cat room with chairs, wall shelves, and cat housing

Over 280 people answered our call to donate, raising over $123,000 and allowing us to complete both phases of construction on the animal housing area! With your support, IHO has become the first VAW shelter in Ottawa to provide on-site housing for animals to escape violence together with their families.

We would like to thank each and every one of you who donated, advocated, and campaigned for this project – our donors, volunteers, community partners, staff, and board members – you all made this project possible.

Three gated dog housing areas with beds

Finally, we would like to thank the women and children of IHO – past, present, and future. If we had the courage to turn this vision into a reality, it was because you inspired us with your courage, strength, and resiliency. You inspire all of us at IHO every day to do better and dream bigger, so we can achieve the ultimate vision; a future free of gender-based violence.

The Escaping Violence Together Project was made possible by:

  • Clara Austrins

  • Cricket & Company

  • Humane Canada

  • Katie Vanker & Stephan Coqueux

  • La Dolce Vita

  • The Buzz Restaurant

  • Osgoode Veterinary Clinic

  • VCA Canada Blair Animal Hospital

Our Partners:

  • Community Veterinary Outreach (CVO)

  • VCA Canada Alta Vista Animal Hospital

Lead Donors:

  • PetSmart Charities of Canada

  • Donner Canadian Foundation

  • Ottawa Community Foundation

  • David & Robyn Aaron

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