~ Pet Refuge ~

For as long as she can remember, Julie Chapman has always had a passion for animals.  Currently, she has 11 cats, 3 dogs, 5 goats and many chickens.  She has always been an animal lover and has always wanted to help them in some way. 

A few years ago, Julie had heard that for those in domestic abuse situations, a big barrier for leaving is fear for their pets’ safety.  It’s because of this, Julie decided to create a safe haven for these pets – Pet Refuge

Julie, the founder of both KidsCan and, now, Pet Refuge, had heard stories of families who had experienced domestic violence and abuse.  They had nowhere for their pets to go while they were seeking refuge.  In only a few weeks, however, that will change.  Pet Refuge will open its doors to the pets of domestic abuse victims. 

Pet Refuge will be the first shelter of its kind here in New Zealand.  With help from the RSPCA New South Wales, they have been developing a programme that will help support animals and people who need it.  Not only this, but Pet Refuge has partnered with Women’s Refuge NZ and Shine, both safe havens for families and individuals in need from domestic violence and abuse.  

The shelter, which will be finished in July of 2021, will be able to house up to 300 animals per year.  This will include cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, and any animal who needs temporary shelter.  They will also have a network of safe farms across New Zealand for larger animals as well, such as goats, horses, sheep, and pigs.  

When animals are at Pet Refuge, it is no surprise they would be there under challenging conditions.  Because of this, there will be a lot of effort made to ensure that all animals are cared for and have the proper enrichment and support to recover from this.  They will make sure each animal has the best food, care, and are as comfortable as possible.  

Since first pitching the idea, Pet Refuge has received a lot of support.  To make sure they have all the necessary resources, they have held fundraisers, campaigns and have received donations.  This all goes toward Pet Refuge to help provide the best programme possible.  Inside the shelter will be a beautiful mural painted by New Zealand artist, Evie Kemp

Those who have been in domestic abuse situations, with nowhere safe for their pets to go, now have hope.  Animals are our family, so the Pet Refuge will bring peace to many lives.  It helps get rid of barriers and shows others they aren’t alone.  It will help create new beginnings for children, men, women and pets.  A place that can care for animals while their family can find safety.  

The work Julie and the Pet Refuge team do is amazing.  They will be helping and saving so many lives.  It’s knowing the impact they have that motivates them every day.  If you wish to support Pet Refuge, check out their pages.