When a household is besieged by unemployment, unexpected illness or family violence, it not only affects the people who live there.
It has an impact on pets too.
But an upgrade at Bendigo Animal Welfare and Community Services means more animals can now be provided a temporary safe haven while their owners are enduring a period of upheaval.
The finishing touches have been applied to an extension of the animal service's kennels, the result of a $50,000 state government grant.
BAWCS president Debbie Edwards said pet owners who might otherwise have to surrender their animals can instead have their furry friend cared for until life was back on track.
"Our focus is to keep pets and owners together," Ms Edwards said, explaining animals played an important role in their owners' recovery from illness and hardship.
"It's an important bond, especially when they're going through a traumatic decision."
The organisation applied for funding after experiencing a growth in requests for crisis care.
Often the responsibilities of pet ownership meant people in need of rehabilitation or medical care did not seek the help they needed because there was no-one to look after their animals, Ms Edwards said.
She explained her work would not be possible if not for government funding, like the animal welfare grant.