(PET NEWS) MISSOURI — Even though this Great Dane saved his guardian’s life by jumping in between her and her abusive husband, he wasn’t allowed to come with her to the battered women’s shelter. Pet-friendly shelters for victims of domestic abuse are rare, and some women will choose to stay in an abusive home rather than leave their pets behind. Because of the special nature of the relationship between this Great Dane and his guardian, shelters are reassessing the role that animals play in rehabilitation, installing kennels and allowing more pets. Read more about this hero dog. — Global Animal
New York Daily News, Amanda Mikelberg
A dog that saved one battered woman’s life may go on to save many more—by changing the role beloved family pets play in the lives of domestic abuse victims.
Last year, the heroic Great Dane had thrown himself over the body of a woman who had been nearly beaten to death by her boyfriend who repeatedly struck her with both sides of a hammer.
The dog leapt into the bloody scene, and absorbed most of the blows the man threw at them – before he threw the dog and the woman out a second-story window.
The desperate woman called the Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City, M.O., where arrangements were made for the woman only – the dog, sadly, couldn’t stay.
But the woman, who has chosen to identify herself, refused to abandon “her angel,” Susan Miller, the center’s chief executive said.
“She was not going to leave her pet alone with him,” Miller said. “He saved her life.”
The dog had suffered serious injuries including a broken and hip, ribs and other broken bones, and with the woman clinging to her trusted companion, the shelter had to make an exception.
Forty percent of the women will not leave their pets, so they live in their cars or they stay. They risk their own life or the life of their children.
Another woman lived in her car for four months while waiting to get into a pet-friend shelter.
Realizing how much a difference it makes in the lives of abuse-escapees, now the shelter is now in the process of adding seven kennels, and expanding the shelter to accommodate another 25 beds.
“They provide so much comfort, and to have to leave that pet behind is so heartbreaking,” Miller said. “It has become abundantly clear that the incredible therapeutic benefits that pets can have on a family greatly outweigh the cost and inconvenience of housing them.”
Miller said seven out of every 10 women in the United States say they are unable to escape abusive relationships in part because the abuser threatens to harm the family pet. Two out of five women say they don’t leave because they worry about what will happen to their dog.
To donate to the Rose Brooks Center and contribute to the crucial expansion project, follow this link: http://www.rosebrooks.org/