November 13, 2021
BestyBnB, a highly secure, technical platform designed specifically for Domestic Violence Shelters, announced that the company raised $2 million from local businesswoman and prominent animal advocate, Sally Root, and signed on seven distinguished DV Shelters in the Kansas City area including Rose Brooks Center, Hope House, Synergy Services, Safehome, Hope Haven of Cass County, Newhouse, and YWCA-St. Joseph. The mission-driven platform enables DV Shelters to search and secure long and short-term pet boarding options for abuse victims’ pets during their time of crisis. With a goal of ending the co-occurrence of domestic violence and pet abuse, BestyBnB is using the funds to scale the platform, hire experts in the companion animal and DV spaces, and expand to other cities to implement the blueprint honed in Kansas City.
“Now that BestyBnB has partnered with every prominent DV Shelter in the Kansas City metropolitan area, the immediate need for our DV Shelter Partners is for loving and qualified pet foster homes in the community to sign up as BestyBnB Pet Caregivers. By signing up at www.BestyBnB.com, the lives of people and pets will be saved. Pet Caregivers can donate their services for free or charge a reasonable fee. It’s completely up to each individual, and if they decide to offer their services for a fee, they keep 100% of it.” said Matt Krentz, BestyBnB Co-Founder.
The launch announcement was made during Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Pure Pitch Rally, where the company’s founders, Andy Bond and Matt Krentz first presented the idea for the platform in 2019. Since then, the team has been hard at work building the platform and turning what was just a concept into an impactful solution.
“Matt and I were listening to a report on our local NPR affiliate about the severe challenges Domestic Violence Shelters face. A director at Safehome, the largest DV Shelter in Kansas, shared that 50% of abuse victims who call a 24-hour emergency hotline seeking safety decide to stay in life-threatening situations when they learn they can’t bring their pets. We were shocked, but it also made complete sense,” said Andy Bond, BestyBnB Co-Founder.
“We also learned that 70% of pets left behind were abused or killed by the abuser. We immediately contacted Safehome and were invited to tour their facility. After observing the children’s playroom and realizing most of these kids and abuse victims had to abandon their pets, Andy and I felt a responsibility to create a solution to this crisis. Over the next 12 months, we toured various DV Shelters across the country, gathered requirements, and raised the capital to develop a first-of-its-kind solution to help all the nearly 3000 DV Shelters across the U.S.,” said Matt Krentz.
“Running and operating a shelter for people experiencing domestic violence is expensive and requires tremendous commitment and support. From a cost, staffing, and space perspective, incorporating an on-site animal shelter is not an option for most organizations,” said Kim Shaw-Ellis, a retired police officer of 33 years and the community police liaison at Synergy Services Domestic Violence Shelter. “After so many years of seeing survivors of abuse stay in dangerous situations to save their four-legged friends, I am very thankful to work with BestyBnB as one of the first shelters to deploy this solution. This resource is literally going to save the lives of humans and pets and it just doesn’t get any better than that.”
Domestic violence amidst the pandemic increased by 25% and BestyBnB is making sure there are no barriers to utilizing their platform. In doing so, the company is currently covering the cost of licenses for DV Shelters so they implement and use the technology. An immediate goal of the company is to strategically partner with one or more corporate sponsors to subsidize the cost of the licenses they are providing to these agencies.
“BestyBnB is an extremely innovative solution that will help domestic violence agencies in a number of ways. This includes housing pets, increased engagement with volunteers eager to advance the Shelter’s mission, fundraising, and as a job creation tool for abuse survivors, among others,” said MaryAnne Metheny, CEO of Hope House. “Hope House is dedicated to making sure anyone affected by domestic violence can find refuge and freedom and we are proud to now do this for pets as well.”