Pet Refuge


To remove a major barrier to pets and their families escaping domestic violence.


We believe in a New Zealand where pets and their owners don’t have to live with domestic violence. We will make it possible for people with pets to leave the abuse behind and create new beginning


To provide temporary shelter for pets from around New Zealand affected by domestic violence, keeping them safe while their owners escape abuse.
To raise awareness of the link between pet abuse and domestic violence, and remove a significant barrier to leaving abuse.
To create a network of businesses, organisations and individuals who can work together to address the issue of pet abuse and domestic violence.

Our Story

When Julie Chapman, Founder and CEO of KidsCan, became aware that some people experiencing family violence delay leaving out of fear for their pets’ lives, she felt driven to help.
With experience in implementing charitable initiatives that alleviate social problems (KidsCan), she developed a plan to remove one of the major barriers to leaving violent situations.
Julie lost both her parents in the last 5 years. She used the money left to her from the sale of their home to purchase land for Pet Refuge.

“For many people, pets are family. For victims of domestic violence, they provide real solace. Leaving them behind with an abusive partner just isn’t an option. We hope that if victims know their pets will be well looked after while they escape, it will remove a barrier to them leaving.”

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