A heroic dog who saved his owner's life by protecting her from domestic abuse has inspired a local women's shelter to allow companion pets.
Last year, the woman told emergency workers that she only survived a vicious attack because her Great Dane threw himself on top of her and absorbed most of the blows. Her abusive boyfriend ultimately threw both out a second-story window, causing them serious injuries. Despite the heinous attack, the woman refused a spot at The Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City because they didn't allow pets. "She was not going to leave her pet alone with [the boyfriend]," Susan Miller, the Rose Brook Center's chief executive officer, told a local news station.
In the wake of the incident, the Rose Brooks Center reversed it's policy and now welcomes companion animals -- however, that isn't the norm. Miller revealed that 40 percent of women who called the shelter turn down accommodations because they don't want to leave their pets. Where does that leave them? Either living in cars -- or staying in their terrible, abusive situations.
A survey of battered women published in Society and Animals found that up to 85 percent of women in domestic abuse shelters reported that their abuser had also threatened, injured or killed a pet. Concern for the pet's well-being influenced their decisions about whether or not to stay in the relationship 25 percent of the time.
"They provide so much comfort, and to have to leave that pet behind is so heartbreaking," Miller explained. "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."
The Rose Brooks Center is also planning to add 25 beds in a renovation expected to cost around $140,000. To donate to the Rose Brooks Center and contribute to their expansion project, go to: http://www.rosebrooks.org/
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