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Success stories

 

SafePlaceforPets.org is an online resource that connects domestic violence survivors with pet-friendly resources near them. Below are survivors’ stories that have been shared with us by domestic violence shelter advocates, boarding facilities, and survivors themselves.  It’s important to us that survivors know they’re not alone and that we offer a safe space to share their stories.

Toby and Mimi

Judy and her dogs, Toby and Mimi, had been living in a car after fleeing from Judy's ex-boyfriend who had been stalking her. Judy suffers from depression and PTSD and her dogs mean the world to her. There was no place for her and her dogs to live together and Judy refused to give up her four-legged family members, even if it meant that she would have to continue living in her car. 

Judy did some research and found RedRover’s SafePlaceforPets.org website, a national directory of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters. With guidance from one of RedRover’s case managers, Judy found Operation Care, a Safe Housing grant shelter in Amador County, California, that had just opened their doors to pets, thanks in part to a Safe Housing grant from RedRover. Judy, Toby and Mimi were accepted into Operation Care’s safe house. Toby and Mimi were their first four-legged guests!

Judy’s pets were behind on their vaccinations; Mimi had an ear infection and needed to be spayed. All of these medical needs were met by RedRover and Operation Care, and Judy’s dogs received the treatment they needed. Judy, Mimi and Toby now have a safe place of their own. Learn more about SafePlaceforPets.org and the brave woman who made the site possible.

SafePlaceforPets.org now has 600 programs listed in its directory, since launching in 2013. Please share this resource with your friends, counselors, peers and family members! You could save a life, or two or three!

Coco

Lynn and her family had been living in fear for months. Lynn’s two-year-old daughter and their family pet, a one-year-old dog named Coco, constantly witnessed screaming and disturbing behavior from Lynn's abuser. He regularly “tore up the apartment” and had once kicked Coco. Lynn gained the courage to leave their abuser and fled to a Nearby domestic violence shelter. The shelter was unable to house pets on site, but Lynn’s case manager knew about RedRover’s emergency grant program. A RedRover Safe Escape grant paid for 30 nights of emergency boarding for Coco and enabled the entire family to start a new life. 

Daisy

Daisy, a defenseless seven-month-old puppy, received multiple stab wounds to her lungs and other vital organs at the hands of her owner’s abuser. A RedRover Safe Escape grant paid for Daisy’s emergency veterinary care and ongoing treatments so she could make a full recovery. RedRover’s case manager worked with Daisy’s family advocate to ensure the whole family was safe. Daisy recovered from her injuries and the family is beginning a new life free from abuse.

Testimonials

 “It meant everything to me because I couldn't give her up. I would not have come into shelter if she didn't have a safe place to stay.”
RedRover Safe Escape grant recipient

“Without your grant I would not have been able to stay in the shelter during that time and may have been killed by this man. I can't thank you enough for all of your help.” 
RedRover Safe Escape grant recipient

“RedRover gave me the ability to leave with my family intact and go somewhere where everyone would be safe.”
RedRover Safe Escape grant recipient

“Because your organization exists, I know I can offer women in danger a solution to that awful choice – keeping herself safe versus keeping her animals safe. This particular client was not going
to leave her dogs behind and in danger. Without you there to help her she would still be married to her abuser.” –Jean, Peace at Home Family Shelter

"As you know often victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are traumatized and having their animal companions close by offer a source of comfort when coming into a shelter where
they are seeking safety, learning about this new environment and adjusting to finally having safety in their lives. It can all be a bit overwhelming, so your program is a boon to survivors, having
their pet close by can provide them with one anchor point and something familiar that they care about, trust and cares about them, that they can return to. I hope the RedRover programs
continue for a very long time." –Sonja, Voices Against ViolenceSafePlaceForPets Pooch

“I’m writing to say a heart-felt thank you for sheltering one of my client’s pets while she prepared herself for a safe, new life. In my opinion, you helped save her life. Elizabeth* first called our agency from a motel in another city. She was terrified to come back to the city because she was being trafficked by someone she trusted and he was waiting for her return. She thought about escaping, but did not know what her options were, especially considering she would not leave her pets. Her trafficker had threatened to kill them – and we both believed him. While on the surface it may seem silly to put your pet’s life ahead of your own, her dog was a childhood pet and the remaining connection to a mother that she had lost. I knew that the only way to place Elizabeth in a safe-house was to guarantee her pet’s safety, too. 

I didn’t even know RedRover existed but am so glad we found you! While Elizabeth thrived in her domestic violence transitional housing program – you went above and beyond to ensure that her pets would be her companions when she completed the program. Without a doubt, your services contributed to her success. At our agency, we are very grateful for the work you do. Helping women leave abusive and manipulative environments is very difficult and really does “take a village.” We count you as a valuable part of our community. Thank you.” –Domestic Violence Shelter advocate

 

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