Saturday, June 03, 2023
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Industry Updates

At ThomasHaywood, we are dog lovers. Pets become a part of the family, so what do you do if you need to leave an abusive relationship but fear to leave your pet behind?

At ThomasHaywood, we can help you with leaving an abusive relationship whether that is proceedings to prevent your partner contacting you, removing them from the home, or helping you to resolve financial matters. However, what about our beloved pets? At ThomasHaywood, we think that the work Dogs Trust Freedom Project does is invaluable.

The Freedom Project helps dog owners fleeing an abusive home by providing a safe, temporary foster home for your dog. It is a free service. The program works by placing your dog into the home of a volunteer foster carer who will care for them until they can be safely reunited with you.

Dogs Trust set up the Freedom Project in 2004 to provide a safe haven for dogs belonging to people fleeing domestic abuse in Greater London & the Home Counties, Yorkshire, the North East & Scotland. Since 2004, they have fostered over 1600 pets and helped 1200 families.

One lady who has recently been helped by the project had been living in a physically and mentally abusive relationship for three years. Her partner had also started to harm her dogs. She escaped to a refuge but, like most, they did not take dogs. The refuge told her about the Freedom Project, and they were able to find a foster home. The Freedom Project sent updates and photographs whilst she was in the refuge. After five months she was in a position to take her dog back and she said of the Freedom Project “When I fled, I lost everything: my home, my belongings, my life. I’m just really grateful that I got to keep my dog.”

We want to highlight this project for two reasons. Firstly, no one should be unable to leave an abusive relationship, and knowing the Freedom Project exists will hopefully provide peace of mind to those who need help but are afraid to leave their pet behind. Secondly, the Freedom Project need volunteers with experience of caring for dogs. The volunteers need to be at home during the day and can look after the dogs for an average of six months. All the dog’s expenses are covered by the Dogs Trust.

I have a rescue border collie who had a bad start in life but now lives a life of luxury. I could not bear the thought of having to leave home without him. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of help, the family team at Thomas Haywood can help you and you can contact me, Sarah Haywood as the head of the team on 01892 765013. We can refer you to the Freedom Project or you can contact them directly on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0800 298 9199.

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