What We Do

Ahimsa House, which is pronounced “uh-HIM-sah” and means “nonviolence” in Sanskrit, was founded in 2004 by Emily Christie after she lost a pet to domestic violence. Ahimsa House became Georgia’s first and only organization dedicated to helping the human and animal victims of domestic violence reach safety together.

Our Story

Originally, Ahimsa House maintained a central shelter for animals at a confidential location in metro Atlanta. In Fall 2006, we recognized the need to change our program model in an effort to operate more cost-effectively and to better serve victims statewide (see How We Help, below). In March 2007, Ahimsa House launched our redesigned direct services program, which houses animals via a network of foster homes and boarding facilities across the state.

To date (June 2022), Ahimsa House has provided over 150,000 nights of safe, confidential shelter for pets in need. Thus far in 2022, we are on track to have a 20% increase in the number of pets in our program over our busiest year ever last year. In 2021, we received over 4,000 calls to our 24-hour crisis line.

It costs us approximately $500 to care for one survivor’s pets. Often, our cost is much higher when survivors have multiple animals, when we receive exotic or unusual species such as horses, and/or when animals require extensive veterinary treatment due to injury or neglect.

Ahimsa House relies heavily on individual donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships.

How We Help

Ahimsa House services are available anywhere in Georgia and all services are completely free of charge.

Our Direct Services Program

  • A 24-hour statewide crisis line  Emergency shelter for animals of any kind while their owners reach safety from domestic violence
  • Veterinary care for pets with injuries and other health conditions due to the abuse, as well as preventive veterinary care and spay/neuter Forensic veterinary examinations to document abuse and assist in prosecuting abusers
  • Assistance in transporting pets to accompany their owners to safety (both within GA and across the country)
  • Pet food, pet supplies, payment of pet deposits in transitional housing, and other assistance victims may need Crates and other pet supplies for domestic violence shelters, including shelters that have their own on-site housing for pets
  • Assistance in including pets in safety planning
  • Legal advocacy to assist victims in listing their pets on temporary protective orders.

Outreach Services Program

  • Training and cross-training for a wide range of human services and animal protection agencies
  • Direct outreach to the public to raise awareness about this issue, including speaking at meetings of civic organizations, setting up information booths at community festivals and workplace health fairs, and placing information brochures and posters in veterinary clinics and other strategic locations across the state
  • Consultation to prosecutors on cases involving co-occurring animal cruelty and domestic violence, including expert witness services
  • directory of programs of this type elsewhere
  • Participating in interdisciplinary conferences and meetings, such as Domestic Violence Task Forces, to keep the issue of animal abuse in domestic violence “at the table”


Annual Reports

2020 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

2011 Annual Report

2010 Annual Report