August 15, 2012

White Dog and the White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog knows first-hand the horror of domestic violence and the ugliness that dealing with its effects causes. We have a very close friend who not so long ago found the courage to speak up and ask for help out of a relationship turned abusive and threatening. It has been a long road for her heal and as part of her process she has become outspoken about the guilt and pain and shame that are hidden wounds from the violence.

She has two loving pups, a cat, a bunny and an ancient parrot and it was her fear that they would be harmed that trapped her in the situation for a long time. It wasn’t until she quietly found safe havens for her pets that she made her escape. This is true for many, and often the option of safe haven with friends is not available. Generally, shelters and sanctuaries from the violence usually do not accept pets…but this is changing and the world is a little brighter with the hope that someday more will be safe from harm as a result. Share the changes at Rose Brooks Center prompted  by one brave dog and some overwhelming statistics:

 Hero Dog Honored as New Kennels Open at Battered Women's Shelter
Update by Good News Network Wednesday, June 20, 2012 Original by Amanda Mikelberg / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Saturday, January 14, 2012

Every day, battered women go to domestic violence shelters in this country. But sometimes, they don't stay because they're not allowed to keep their pets with them.

Last year, a 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, MO  where arrangements were made for the woman only - the dog, sadly, couldn't stay. But the woman, who has chosen not 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-friendly shelter.

Realizing how much a difference it makes in the lives of abuse-escapees, the shelter has added, a brand new pet kennel adjacent to the center.

“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.

If more shelters begin accepting furry family members, imagine the possibilities for broken lives to be mended and healthy futures to be built. Second chances. Fresh starts. Love and Support. Now THAT would be wonderful indeed.


rottrover said...

Of course! I'll pass this along. Thanks, WD!

Teddy Bear said...

We hope that one day there will be shelters all over the country for the brave women and their furr babies. Such a touching post.

Teddy Bear & Sierra

Remington said...

Great post, my friend....

Random Felines said...

we hear this all the time. our local humane society has a safe haven program that will quietly admit a pet to allow the person to get away from their abuser and keep the pet until the person is safe. sometimes they do have to end up surrendering the pet, but at least they know their abuser can't hurt them or their animal anymore. I know I could never leave my kids behind....hopefully more people shelters will realize that pets ARE family and need to be protected as well. thanks for sharing this article.

Amber DaWeenie said...

So true. And this is such a timely post. Just this week I heard something about a shelter here in Florida that is now allowing pets to stay as well. Our pets need protection because usually the abuse starts years before with an animal.

bbes tribe said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. Pets are amazing and give us SO much - they are Family!!

Jo's World said...

Wonderful post, our pets mean far too much to us to leave them!


Brian said...

I so hope that happens quickly. I can't think of any reasonable excuse.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Again you have posted something that opens our eyes to changes that need to be made.

KB said...

Thank you for opening my eyes to a big issue. Have you seen at Gospel of Goose that Goose's human has been instrumental in starting a homeless shelter that accepts dogs? What a great thing.

haopee said...

Once again, you are a bringer of good news. I know specifically not for me, but reading this makes me happy that people are changing to accommodate not only the humans but as well as their pet companions.

Huggies and Cheese,