Session 4: Co-Sheltering Nonhuman Companion Animals in Women’s Emergency Shelters in Ontario, Canada: From Model to Policy and Practice

Publication Year:
Usage 13
Abstract Views 13
Repository URL:
Lindsay, Sarah May
artifact description
Up to 65% of battered women delay leaving their abuser, or do not leave at all, due to concern for their nonhuman companion animal’s (pet’s) safety. In Ontario, Canada, nonhuman companion animals predominantly are not permitted to reside in-shelter with women and their children. This presentation will share preliminary results from a study about companion animal policies and practices (if any) in shelters throughout the province including in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 20 current shelter workers. The data gathered thus far informs the sociology of the family and critical animal studies subfields, as only one exception was found to an apparent unwritten, yet routinely followed, policy disallowing co-sheltering. This paper draws on Bourdieusian field and capital theory, Dorothy E. Smith’s relations of ruling, and Foucauldian notions of the management of life to help explain institutional framing of co-sheltering as a problematic shelter model despite frequent identification of species separation in sheltering as a barrier to safe, family emergency housing in Ontario, Canada.