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The NSW Department of Communities and Justice has developed a grants program to support victim-survivors of domestic and family violence to leave violent situations without worrying about the safety of their pets.

The Domestic and Family Violence Pets and Animal Welfare Support (DFV PAWS) program will provide grants of between $3,000 and $40,000 to eligible organisations.

Who can apply?

The grants are available to not-for-profit organisations that provide either of the following services in NSW:

  • crisis accommodation for victim-survivors escaping domestic and family violence; or
  • animal welfare organisations including shelters and veterinarians who provide, or want to provide, free emergency services and shelter for pets of DFV victim-survivors.

Please note that Local Councils who meet the above criteria are eligible to apply for this grant.

Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations are strongly encouraged to apply.

What are DFV PAWS grants available for?

The grants can be used to improve DFV shelters and/or animal shelter facilities, for DFV training, and for brokerage funds to cover costs associated with accommodating animals.

DFV PAWS Grants are available in two streams.

Stream One is for women’s refuges and other crisis accommodation providers to become more pet friendly.

  • In Stream One funding can be used for building upgrades, buying goods or pet supplies, and accessing veterinary services or pet accommodation. This stream can also be used to fund shelter or crisis accommodation staff training about basic pet care.

Stream Two is for animal welfare organisations to develop new or improve existing animal shelter services for people fleeing DFV.

  • In Stream Two funding is available for building upgrades to improve a shelter’s capacity to specifically cater for the animals of people leaving DFV, or provide DFV training to animal shelter staff.

How to apply?

Applications are now open.

Please read the NSW DFV PAWS Grant guidelines carefully before you apply.

To apply, please complete and email your application form (see page 8 of the guidelines) to with the subject line 'Application for DFV PAWS'.

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, 20 November 2020.

Late applications will not be accepted.

After your application is received, it will be reviewed by the Department of Communities and Justice. All eligible applicants will be assessed against the criteria within the grant guidelines. Successful applicants will be notified via email.


If you have questions about the grants that are not covered in the guidelines, please call the Domestic Violence Strategy team on (02) 8346 1409 or email

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Last updated: 05 Nov 2020