'Why I'm backing PetRetreat'
RSPCA supporter Alesha Dixon is urging more people to become PetRetreat fosterers.
Alesha has been passionate about the RSPCA's work for years and recently rehomed two RSPCA rescue dogs, including Daisy pictured left.
In her own words, this is why Alesha is backing PetRetreat.
'Animals are the silent victims'
Domestic violence is a traumatic experience which touches everyone in the affected family – including pets.
Animals are the silent and often forgotten victims of abuse. Not only do they have to live in the same household, but they can live in fear of what could happen to them should the abuser lash out on them as well.
As around half of households in the UK own a pet, it's not surprising that many families seeking refuge from domestic abuse have animals that need taking care of while they get settled.
'My mum was a victim of abuse'
Sadly, I was brought up in such a household as my mum was a victim of abuse.
It was so hard for me to see her go through such a harrowing situation and I felt very helpless.
Victims of domestic violence who have pets can feel unable to escape the abuse as they are worried about what could happen to their four-legged friends if they are left behind.
In addition, a lot of refuges and temporary accommodation do not allow pets, which means it's almost impossible to take them with you.
'PetRetreat cannot exist without fosterers'
PetRetreat removes this barrier by making sure the animals are well looked after in foster homes until the owner and animal are ready to be reunited.
But PetRetreat cannot exist without fosterers, so anyone who thinks they could open their hearts and homes to help foster cats and dogs should contact the RSPCA to see if they can help.
Or, help us publicise the scheme in any way you can – it could be a leaflet drop, a status update on Facebook or tweet on Twitter - so that more families affected by domestic abuse will know that there is help out there for people and their pets.