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Freedom Project extends to North East
The Freedom Project works by placing the dog at risk into the home of a volunteer foster carer. 

Figures reveal shocking number of domestic abuse crimes in the region

A successful pet fostering scheme that provides support to people fleeing domestic abuse has been extended to the North East of England.

The move comes after police statistics revealed over 54,000 reported incidents of domestic violence in Durham since January 2014 and 30,000 incidents in Northumbria in the past year alone.

Run by Dogs Trust, The Freedom Project works by placing the dog at risk into the home of a volunteer foster carer who will look after them until it is safe to reunite them with their family. Most refuges do not accept pets, so the scheme gives families peace of mind that their animal will be cared for.

The project has been running in Greater London, Yorkshire and Hertfordshire for 12 years and launched in Essex last November. Over this period, it has fostered some 1,100 dogs, helping more than 800 owners.

“Some people find themselves in impossible situations, when the only option to flee from an abusive home would be to give up their dog or leave them behind,” said Diane Muskett, Freedom Project co-ordinator for Yorkshire & North East.
“We could not run this project without the help of our amazing foster carers who lovingly care for the dogs in their own homes until they can be reunited with their owners.”

Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner Dame Vera Baird said that she was delighted to fund and support a cause that is so close to her heart.

“Some people find themselves in impossible situations when the only option to flee from an abusive home would be to give up their dog or leave them behind,” she said. "To be able to offer pets a temporary safe-haven through the Freedom Project will no doubt have a positive long-term impact for the animal and those fleeing situations of domestic violence.”

Due to high demand for the service, the Freedom Project is urgently seeking volunteers with experience of caring for dogs. It states that volunteers must be at home during the day and can look after dogs for an average of six months. All the dogs' expenses are covered by Dogs Trust.

If you live in Yorkshire or the North East and would like to find about more, visit You can also email: or call: 0800 083 4322.

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Giraffe Conservation Foundation named BVNA’s charity of the year

News Story 1
 BVNA president Wendy Nevins has named The Giraffe Conservation Foundation as the association’s charity of the year for 2017/2018.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation dedicates its work to a sustainable future for wild giraffe populations. Wendy Nevins said: ‘I have chosen the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for the BVNA Charity of the Year because I have always thought Giraffes were magnificent animals.

‘I also think it is important that we look at the wider issue of conservation and education across all species.’  

News Shorts
Scientists win award for openness in animal research

UK scientists have won an award for the 360ş Laboratory Animal Tours project, which offered the public an online, interactive tour of four research facilities that are usually restricted access.

The project won a public engagement award at the Understanding Animal Research (UAR) Openness Awards, which recognise UK research facilities for transparency on their use of animals in research, as well as innovation in communicating with the public.

The tour was created by the Pirbright Institute, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol and MRC Harwell Institute.