In 2018, MSCFV was honored with a grant from the Banfield Foundation to support the MSCFV Pet Safety Program. Founded in Portland, OR, in 1955, Banfield is the largest general-veterinary practice in the world. Creating a key partnership with PetSmart to expand access to high-quality and affordable pet care, developing medical protocols that have been adopted throughout the veterinary incident, designing and sharing industry-leading pet patient software systems, researching best practices and cutting-edge treatments, and giving millions of dollars to organizations working to keep pets and their families together and healthy are just some of the reasons that Banfield's support is a true gift to MSCFV.

Up to 48 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave. The MSCFV Pet Safety Program helps victims care for their pets throughout their journey to strength by:

  • Providing emergency shelter to pets;
  • Ensuring pets are included in protective orders;
  • Welcoming pets into Rapid Rehousing and Transitional Housing; and
  • Providing a fund to cover pet supplies, emergency vet costs, and pet deposits for victims’ new homes.

Since receiving support from the Banfield Foundation, MSCFV has helped 19 families start their Journeys of Strength with their pets, mostly dogs and cats, by their side.

Kim Van Syoc, Executive Director of the Banfield Foundation, shared with us why the Banfield Foundation supports the MSCFV Pet Safety Program and Banfield's commitment to ensuring pets have safe and healthy futures.

Why are you involved with MSCFV?

At the Banfield Foundation, we believe no one should have to choose between their own safety and the safety of their children and pets. Through our Pet Advocacy Grant program, we provided funding for the MSCFV Pet Safety Program so victims of domestic violence can quickly and safely leave an abusive situation and plan for a better future with their pets by their side.

What impact do you think MSCFV has had on individual’s Journey of Strength?

We share the belief that pets, just like humans, deserve to live a life full of love, safety and without the fear of abuse. As an organization, MSCFV has helped break the cycle of domestic violence by providing shelter and counseling in five different counties throughout Maryland. In addition to providing critical services during an initial crisis, you also help victims transition to a new life—you are, for many people, the light at the end of the tunnel.

What advice do you have for victims of family violence?

Violence in any form is unacceptable and no one, including the family pet, should ever be abused. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be live in a situation involving family violence, but my hope is that no one will have to remain in a bad situation thanks to critically important programs that exist for victims and their loved ones.

What advice do you have for someone that suspects violence is occurring?

If you see something, say something! There are many organizations that can help victims and their family, including their pets. If you believe someone you know is a victim and in need of assistance, reach out to local or national experts for advice on how you can best help.

What do you think is MSCFV’s greatest strength?

You bring nearly 40 years of experience in this area and you clearly have a heart for helping those who need it most.

What do you think is MSCFV’s greatest need?

Sustained funding so you continue to meet the needs in your community and expand your amazing work.

To find out more about the Banfield Foundation, visit

If you are a victim of domestic violence and you have a pet, we can help. You don't need to leave your four-legged, two winged, or scaled family members behind. Call our hotline at 1-800-927-4673

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