The Dutchess County SPCA and Grace Smith House are working together to protect battered women and their pets. The DCSPCA will provide safe shelter for pets while battered women stay at the Grace Smith House emergency shelter. Contact Grace Smith House for more information at (845) 471-3033
The program, called Safe Pet Sheltering, offers up to 90 days of shelter for animals in a safe, undisclosed and confidential location while their owner is staying in the Grace Smith House Emergency Shelter.
Following the 2010 murder of Linda Riccardulli by her husband, Anthony, the Dutchess County Legislature’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence submitted a report outlining several recommendations for the county, including providing temporary sheltering for pets to assure they are not pawns or impede a victim’s ability to escape violence.
The Dutchess program was based on similar ones in Albany and Rensselaer counties.