ST. LOUIS – St. Louis’ largest domestic violence shelter is teaming up with several pet organizations to make it easier for survivors to leave abusive environments.

The ‘Women’s Safe House’ in St. Louis is expanding its facility to add an animal kennel. It’ll provide veterinary care for the pets, but owners will still be responsible for their care. The new facility is expected to be completed by early 2024.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that it usually takes survivors seven attempts to leave an abusive relationship. Leaving a pet behind is often a huge decision since only 17% of domestic violence shelters allow animals.