Jennifer Howard

CEO and founder of Safe Pets Safe Families

SANomineeAustralian of the Year2021

When Jennifer Howard escaped a violent relationship in her 20s, she was forced to leave her pets behind. Tragically, she never saw them again.

A single mum-of-three, Jennifer has dedicated seven years of her life to creating the registered charity Safe Pets Safe Families. The organisation provides emergency services for people and their pets in times of crisis, such as domestic violence, homelessness, mental illness and medical emergencies.

Jennifer’s passion, dedication and work ethic has seen Safe Pets Safe Families grow from an idea to an organisation of 450 volunteers. Since its founding, it has helped more than 800 clients and 1,000 animals. Jennifer is now working to make every domestic violence shelter pet friendly – and to raise awareness about the link between animal abuse and family violence.

Research shows many women delay leaving a violent relationship if they have nowhere to take their pets. Jennifer’s work has enabled many to leave and seek safety, knowing their animals will be cared for.