Our Crisis Programs
Free on-call mobile veterinary appointments for animals of victims of domestic violence and other at-risk community members. 48% of victims of domestic violence will delay or not leave a dangerous environment if they can’t bring their animal(s) with them. This program provides the vaccines and records required for pets of victims to enter pet-friendly safe houses, domestic violence shelters, apartments, and pet boarding facilities.
This on-call, free, mobile veterinary service removes obstacles of finances, transportation, and insufficient time to wait for a regular veterinary appointment in order for victims, children, and pets escaping harm to stay together and reach safety. Veterinary services include physical exams, vaccines, rabies certificates, medical records, microchips, deworming, flea and tick prevention, medical treatment, as well as free pet food and supplies.
On-site veterinary clinics for clients of human service agencies that support vulnerable community members. The Ruthless Kindness mobile unit is brought to the facility or a convenient location, where clients’ animals receive free veterinary exams, vaccines, treatments, pet supplies, and pet food. These clinics typically serve up to 25 animals, and are designed to support those who are at-risk and unable to access veterinary care through regular veterinary hospitals or other means. The goal is to keep people and their animals together, remove financial (and other) stress, and serve as a gateway for other services that the individual or family may need.
Oftentimes people will ask for help for their pets before themselves, so these clinics can be a way to reach out to clients for a variety of services. Ruthless Kindness provides veterinary clinics at domestic violence shelters, Family Justice Centers, women’s support centers, public areas, and more.
Boarding and Foster
Oftentimes people in crisis are unable to bring their animals with them. Ruthless Kindness helps to coordinate temporary boarding and foster care for the animals of people in crisis, as space allows. Our goal is to provide animal care that allows people to get the care they need for their and their family’s safety and well-being, then reunite the individual or family with their animal(s) as soon as possible. Boarding involves an animal staying at an animal boarding facility or shelter. Foster means staying in a home with a volunteer foster provider. The Ruthless Kindness Foster Care Program is made up of volunteers who offer temporary care for our client’s animals in their own homes.
If you are interested in becoming a foster home for Ruthless Kindness, please fill our foster application form.
Human Service Agency Consultations
For many human service agencies, it can be difficult to know how to navigate a client with animals, or how to fit animals into case management. We help with general advice, coordination of resources, referrals, navigation, protocols, recommended guidelines, and general consultations regarding clients with animals.
As veterinarians who have worked in animal shelters and animal welfare in the Bay Area and Sonoma, Napa, and Lake counties for over a decade, we are well-connected with animal welfare and veterinary partners, and can help identify what resources and options are available.
Ruthless Kindness offers free tele-support to at-risk individuals and families with animals. It can be extremely difficult to navigate being a victim of a crime or other crisis, even more so with animals. It can feel excruciating to think that to get your own needs met, you have to leave behind your animals. Ruthless Kindness helps to identify resources and opportunities for individuals and families experiencing these challenges with animals. This includes all species of animals, not just dogsand cats.
Telesupport consultations may include guiding clients through finding help with food, supplies and veterinary care, learning about boarding or foster, seeking pet-friendly housing or shelter, determining if an animal is an emotional support or service animal, knowing which agency oversees animal control in a particular area, whether an animal can be included in a protective order, and much more.
Human Animal Welfare Cooperative (HAWC)
The Human Animal Welfare Cooperative is a cross-professional group that works together to improve the welfare of the most vulnerable animals and people in our community. HAWC brings together human and animal services, including the veterinary profession, child protective services, adult protective services, law-enforcement, policy-makers, educators, animal control, animal welfare, and more, hosting monthly meetings and trainings. The goals of HAWC are to coordinate services and resources across professional silos, increase efficiency and impact for at-risk community members, and consider the entire family (including animals) in all programs, resources, and case-management.
If you or your organization are in the Sonoma, Napa, or North Bay Area and would like to attend HAWC meetings, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. HAWC was trained by and is formed in the model of the LINK Coalition: https://nationallinkcoalition.org.
Our Empathy Programs
Farm Animal Programs
In addition to assisting with all species of animals belonging to the families of victims and others in crisis situations, Ruthless Kindness rescues and cares for farm animals. On our small Sebastopol farm, we’ve rescued farm animals who were subject to inhumane treatment, and we are committed to letting them live out their natural lives in comfort. These wonderful animals serve our other programs as ambassadors of kindness and empathy, participating in our empathy education program, youth story times, and amplifying the message that all beings deserve safety, kindness, and freedom from pain and mistreatment.
Our farm animals, and the programs they serve, help remind us to not limit kindness to those who have traditionally been deemed deserving. Instead, we believe that all sentient beings are worthy of freedom from pain, fear, and distress.
Make Waves Awards
The Make Waves awards recognize musicians, filmmakers, writers and other creators for including messages of empathy, justice, and positive change in their work. Knowing how much art impacts our society and our souls, the goal is to influence our ever evolving culture in a more empathetic and kind direction, and to recognize those who are creating messages that heal and encourage progress.
Research has shown that empathy can act as an antidote to violence, therefore we believe that we can forge a better future by the generation of as much empathy as possible. We seek to find, witness, and reinforce the amazing work that so many are doing to send out messages of support and positive change. The Make Waves Award is awarded annually by Ruthless Kindness.
Co-creation of an innovative empathy education program in collaboration with The JAYC Foundation. Empathy can be the antidote to violence and trauma, and is taught especially well through the human animal bond. Our goal is to have empathy education reach every child that needs it as part of our violence prevention initiatives. This program offers a research informed, psychologist supported, animal-assisted curriculum to children who have experienced trauma.
Typically offered through an 8-session curriculum, Empathy Education teaches awareness, empathy, kindness, resilience, attunement, emotional safety, and much more, while participants have fun and interact with animals of a variety of species. This program is designed to break the cycle of violence, heal trauma, teach skills that improve coping and well-being, and promote kindness in youth.
Ruthless Kindness creates and distributes virtual and physical resources for reducing physical, sexual and emotional harm to people and animals. General community awareness is insufficient regarding various forms of abuse, the link between human and animal abuse, and the resources that are available to respond to and heal from these crises. Ruthless Kindness strives to bring life-saving information to both professional partners and community members.
If you are interested in having Ruthless Kindness present for your audience, please reach out to the contacts on our contact page. If you are looking for resources regarding pet support, human support, or the link between human and animal abuse, please take a look at our resources page, or reach out.