He saved her life.
June 12, 2012 7:19 PM   Subscribe

When her boyfriend tried to kill the woman with a hammer, her fearless Great Dane jumped in the way, laying over her body and taking most of the blows until the man threw both of them out of a second story window. The dog suffered multiple broken bones in the attack, sparing his owner’s life in the process.

Studies by the American Humane Society show that nearly half of battered women delay leaving an abusive environment because they fear for a pet’s safety.

84 percent of women in domestic violence shelters report that their abusers also abused pets in the home and 40 percent of women report they’re unwilling to leave their abusers because they fear for the safety of their pets.

Despite their injuries, the woman was able to escape with her dog, and eventually made her way to the Rose Brooks Center. When they offered her a bed and told her no pets were allowed, she was defiant, and for the first time in its history, the shelter overlooked regulations and allowed the dog to stay.

That decision would eventually lead to a permanent change in policy.

The center broke ground last fall for a new wing that will add four bedrooms with baths, a play area, a health clinic and therapy rooms. To this expansion, they will add a pet shelter, making Rose Brooks Center the first domestic violence shelter in the region to welcome pets.
posted by Lou Stuells (57 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Good for them! If I were in the same situation, I would never, ever leave my animals behind. My parents, my mother especially, taught me from a very early age that we have a responsibility to our companion animals. It's one I take very seriously. This Great Dane was a hero -- why should he have to be left behind and suffer / possibly get killed? More shelters should follow their lead.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:26 PM on June 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

That's great news. Pretty much anything that helps people leave abusive relationships *and* gets animals out of abusive homes is all good in my book.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:36 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is very cool, fantastically progressive and will allow them to serve a lot more women and families in need much earlier.

If I were in the same situation, I would never, ever leave my animals behind.

Women in DV sherlters are not generally people facing an awesome array of choices. Many of the choices are excruciating.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:47 PM on June 12, 2012 [8 favorites]

Heartbreaking. And close to home.

Many years ago, I was in an abusive relationship. A week before we were supposed to get married, our upstairs neighbour, who often protected me by stopping by (ostensibly) to borrow a cup of sugar when he heard it getting loud, was killed in a car accident. I cared for his dog for a few days until his girlfriend got home from her job on the road. When in that time my then-fiancee punched the dog in the head for not sitting fast enough, it shocked and sickened me more than the any of the times I'd been assaulted. It really hurt my heart to see reflected in another creature what might have been the look in my own eyes after being hit. With that as impetus, and the with the urging and help of a few good friends, I left within about a week of the funeral.

In Ontario, we have SafePet. I just realized I can at least foster small animals, so your post has done some good here. Thank you.
posted by peagood at 7:49 PM on June 12, 2012 [53 favorites]

I wish the dog had bit the guy to where he'd never swing a hammer again.
posted by dancestoblue at 7:50 PM on June 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Good for them! If I were in the same situation, I would never, ever leave my animals behind.

Oh boy, this stings to read. When I was in an abusive relationship my main goal was to try as best I could to not be raped and/or have the shit kicked out of me. The way you arrange your priorities under that kind of stress is totally different from prioritizing in regular old non-being-abused day-to-day life. I've been there and I don't even know what I would do if I were in the same situation.
posted by bewilderbeast at 7:59 PM on June 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

Isn't it kind of odd that the dog didn't just attack him? I'm sure a great Dane could take out a human pretty easily.
posted by delmoi at 8:02 PM on June 12, 2012

I can think of a reason for not welcoming family pets to DV shelters: children are very often frightened of dogs. Children in shelters are in an incredibly difficult and traumatizing situation already -- I've seen them during intake, and they are just so fragile. Shelters generally keep stuffed animals on-hand, just to give them something comforting in a terrifying situation. It's easy to see why shelter workers wouldn't want to add dogs to the situation -- especially dogs whose temperament and training they know nothing about.

It's a great solution to build a separate facility that's dog-friendly. I don't think all shelters have the funds for that, though.
posted by palliser at 8:09 PM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

Two legs bad, four legs good.

(Unless the two legs run a shelter, then they're okay).
posted by Mezentian at 8:10 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Delmoi, Danes are pretty passive dogs, as are many "giant" breeds. Huge does not equal vicious.

My Boxer/Shepherd/Husky is more likely to fuck your shit up than my neighbor's Dane. Danes are more "barrier" than "biter".
posted by MissySedai at 8:14 PM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

PSA for Georgia MeFites: Ahimsa House in Atlanta works with Georgia domestic violence shelters to provide care and shelter for pets in domestic violence situations while their humans get to safety themselves.

~the more you know~~~
posted by nicebookrack at 8:15 PM on June 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

Shouldn't this particular dog have been in a vet hospital at that point? (read the article, but haven't watched the video. I've never had a pet so this might be a dumb question.)
posted by jacalata at 8:16 PM on June 12, 2012

Yeah, just look at what a coward Scooby was.
posted by xedrik at 8:20 PM on June 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Great Danes rule. I'm glad this one had an opportunity to show heroism. If only Great Danes lived longer...I could never keep a Dane for a pet, knowing how short their average lifespan is.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:21 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Isn't it kind of odd that the dog didn't just attack him? I'm sure a great Dane could take out a human pretty easily.

Okay, let's try this again: this can't possibly be a serious comment given the context of this situation, no?
posted by joe lisboa at 8:33 PM on June 12, 2012

The cat I had before the one I have now was given to me "temporarily" while a friend of mine fled her abusive husband. He'd threatened to hurt the animals if she left him. It always felt even better than just another rescue cat, because I knew what specific danger this cat was in.
posted by xingcat at 8:35 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Last year, m y mother refused to leave my abusive, alcoholic father and go to her own desperately needed inpatient drug and alcohol rehab. Her argument was that my dad might accidentally kill the dogs while she was gone.
posted by harperpitt at 8:48 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Isn't it kind of odd that the dog didn't just attack him? I'm sure a great Dane could take out a human pretty easily.

Okay, let's try this again: this can't possibly be a serious comment given the context of this situation, no?

The same thing crossed my mind (about the dog) when I was reading it, to be honest. Not that I was thinking "this story must be bullshit" because of it, but as someone with no real experience with large dogs, I don't think it's that crazy of a thought to occur.
posted by stifford at 8:52 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

The same thing crossed my mind (about the dog) when I was reading it, to be honest. Not that I was thinking "this story must be bullshit" because of it, but as someone with no real experience with large dogs, I don't think it's that crazy of a thought to occur.

Okay, then. Fair point, I guess. It just seemed needlessly heartless and (the now-meaningless in the context of MeFi) "contrarian" to point out, in my opinion. But I readily grant that others with a more charitable reading of the situation thought it plausible.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:56 PM on June 12, 2012

I would agree it's a very minor tangent to a very serious topic of discussion. But I think the question was asked out of curiously, not out of maliciousness or criticism of the dog.
posted by stifford at 9:01 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

What an excellent story! Thank you for posting it. Especially the part about pets as one of the reasons women stay in abusive relationships. The reasons are numerous, and if more people had a sense for them the "why didn't she just leave?" question might be asked less, while the "how can I help?" question might be asked more.

bitter-girl - I'm sure you didn't mean your statement to criticize either women who stay in abusive relationships or women who escape from them by leaving pets behind. It's very, very easy to read it that way, though. Violence warps and destroys the sort of standard rules that we learned at our parents' knees, and it's very possible to take your responsibility to a companion animal very seriously while at the same time getting out of the house right now because you're in fear for your life.
posted by kavasa at 9:09 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dogs fucking rule.
posted by braksandwich at 9:28 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

This made me cry good tears. I've known some amazingly compassionate dogs in my life. (Some not so compassionate ones, too.) It reminds me of a recent news story I read about a study that suggests dogs do indeed have empathy:

Dogs respond to a person who is crying regardless of whether it is their owner or an unfamiliar person, researchers in Britain found...."If the dogs' approaches during the crying condition were motivated by self-oriented comfort-seeking, they would be more likely to approach their usual source of comfort, their owner, rather than the stranger," Mayer said in a statement. "No such preference was found. The dogs approached whoever was crying regardless of their identity. Thus they were responding to the person's emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behavior."

One of the most amazing things I've ever done is volunteer to be a companion to an owner and his or her therapy dog as they made the rounds at a nursing home. (Companions were required for liability concerns, apparently.) We would walk into a room in which the inhabitant was lying on the bed, seemingly catatonic. But when that dog walked up and shoved his snout into the person's hand, s/he would stir and come to life. Some of the elderly patients had very little control over their grip and would end up pulling or clawing at these dogs, who would stand so patiently, and lick their hands. The joy the therapy dogs spread was...humbling, I guess. I feel a bit sheepish typing this out, but it was really so moving.

Anyway, compassion is not so much what this story is about, but if researchers can speak of dogs having empathy, then I suppose we might also speak of them having courage. And this Great Dane definitely has that in spades.
posted by artemisia at 9:35 PM on June 12, 2012 [15 favorites]

Great Danes rule.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:21 PM
One of my brothers had Great Danes for years; I think it started sortof because of our Danish heritage but then changed; I know for a fact he loved them, he had them always. And they are great (Great, I guess), they're just so friendly and fun. Festive I think is the right word to describe them -- they're big goofs, they love to clown around and wrestle, the one he had when he died (Carol still has her) would leap over the couch and over the footboard of the bed, too, she can jump over that couch easy as I can jump over a shoe-box; he had a huge house and she could bound through that living room in no time then ZAM! leap over the couch then into the bedroom and ZAM! over the footboard and onto the bed and turned around, looking right at you, big dog smile, ready for more, really, really fun to watch her. Great dogs.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:39 PM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

To expand on my last comment (Dogs fucking rule)... one widely held belief now is that dogs domesticated themselves. The tl;dr is that we didn't decide to take dogs as pets, they joined us, fed off the scraps we were too full to eat. The most fearless and brazen of the dogs would do this. Dogs are smart so they understand that in order to keep the food coming from the people, the people must be kept alive, to keep getting the food.

This is where barking and territorialism come in handy. This keeps the food safe from competitors. Dog owners witness this all the time when their dogs bark at passing strangers walking their own dogs, though I think (based on how much my neighbors yell at their dogs) that they often don't understand it. The dog thinks he's doing the pack a favor, and gets confused when the alpha yells at him for doing his job (warding off other predators who might steal your food.)

I love reading stories about dogs saving the day, it's always heart-warming. And I'm constantly impressed by how fearless and confident dogs can be. I have a 22 lb westie that looks like a cartoon baby polar bear. Kids always want to pet him, they goo goo over how cute he is. And when he's at the dog park, and some gnarly gigantic rottweiler tries to hump him, the owner always says, "OMG I'm so sorry" and they yell at their dog. We always let the owner know, "it's fine, don't get in the way, they'll sort this out themselves." And then the big dog tries again, and our little cartoon polar bear FREAKS THE FUCK OUT, and makes these rabid sounding, gutteral, alien noises, baring his fangs and flipping his shit out. And no dog at the dog park for the rest of the day gives him any shit.

I know, rationally, that dogs don't actually love us. That their pack instincts are telling them that the best way to preserve the food supply is to take action, and defend the rest of the pack. But damn are they cute, and those cute puppy-dog eyes, that I'm ok believing that they love us, even if it might not be completely true.
posted by braksandwich at 9:46 PM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

I am shocked to hear that so many domestic abusers are also animal abusers. I shouldn't be, but the thought turns my stomach. I can imagine being so angry at a person you're deeply imbricated with that you'd do stupid, regrettable things in anger... but to hurt an animal in anger is unthinkable. If I were ever that woman... I doubt I would escape imprisonment, unfortunately.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:50 PM on June 12, 2012

One of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe stories is The Black Cat, which usually gets punted aside as an rerun of "The Tell-Tale Heart." Which is a little bit true. But I'm fascinated by how the impulsively violent & unreliable narrator presents the cat as a monster yet obvious victim, and the explicit lines the story draws connecting domestic violence, cruelty to pets, personality swings from caring husband into violent abuser, alcoholism, and abuser escalation from violence toward animals into violence toward people. It's a bit more nuanced than "crazy guy kills cats for kicks" and I like that.
posted by nicebookrack at 1:03 AM on June 13, 2012

I'm very anti-abusive relationships, and pro-animals, and pro-"this dog kicked ass in reality and in my heart."

But oy, that video was painful to watch for the "doesn't this just make you cry?" music editing and slow pace. At first I was feeling sad but then I just!
Or was it just me?
posted by DisreputableDog at 1:37 AM on June 13, 2012

I know, rationally, that dogs don't actually love us.

On what basis do you make this statement? Because I am pretty sure my dog loves me with a devotion normally reserved for religion.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:09 AM on June 13, 2012 [7 favorites]

Also, I totally get that loads of people are not familiar with large dog breeds but for the record, Great Danes are basically giant teddy bears. They are highly non-aggressive despite their intimidating size.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:16 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, call the emotion/action/motivation whatever you like, we love them.

One cat story. I was once grabbed, shaken and slammed; my cat launched herself at the attacker and sunk her upper fangs into their leg behind the knee. And held on, gnawing with her lower jaw. She had to be clubbed off with a vacuum-cleaner hose. It took a while.

The wounds were impressive, and the vet was called to request she be put down. The vet, praise be upon him, managed to convince that this was courageous not psychotic behavior, probably imitated from the dogs the cat had been raised with, and something to brag about. And that he'd be very interested in hearing about any more incidents. It worked, and cat lived a long, protective life. This had a lasting impact on dynamics. Her defense hardly ever needed to be as vigorous again, but she was on guard (as was the vet) and folks knew it.
posted by likeso at 3:43 AM on June 13, 2012 [8 favorites]

Okay, deep breath here.

The shelter I'm in doesn't take pets. I sneak home while my husband is at work to make sure they get walked and snuggled. Transitional housing also doesn't take pets and is a year long program. My sister has offered to take the animals until I make it through. But I really miss my furbabies, and so does my kid. The whole shelter thing is very dehumanizing in itself. I wish I could have my pets. It would go a long way to making a tough situation so much more tolerable.
posted by FunkyHelix at 5:11 AM on June 13, 2012 [16 favorites]

Isn't it kind of odd that the dog didn't just attack him? I'm sure a great Dane could take out a human pretty easily.

Not odd at all. Most people vastly overestimate how much actual attacking/defending a dog will do when faced with a serious threat. This dog was incredibly brave and stoic to stand its ground the way it did, even some police dogs, bred, selected and trained specifically to have the nerve strength to do this, will run away when faced with actual physical harm.

I love dogs, and I absolutely do believe that dogs have a complex emotional life, including what we call "love".
posted by biscotti at 5:11 AM on June 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm always a bit puzzled at people who seem to regard animals as little more than mechanical constructs run on instinct programs. The same people who agree that humans have evolved from earlier, other species. Where do they think we got our emotions from?
posted by likeso at 5:43 AM on June 13, 2012 [10 favorites]

kavasa, no, I'm not criticizing anyone else's decisions, I'm saying *I* personally could not leave them behind, and would make decisions accordingly. My animals are as much a part of my life as other people's children are a part of theirs. Would you ask someone to leave their 14-year-old child because it's a child? The same reasoning applies, in my world, to my elderly dog, who is not able to care for herself without human help.

My original point though, was that more shelters should adopt this policy so that people aren't forced into the stay-or-go decision based solely on whether their pets can come, too.

I feel so badly for you, FunkyHelix -- that's the kind of thing that gives me nightmares. I hope your sister is able to take them in -- please MeMail me if there's anything I can do to help make that easier for you both.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:15 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

FunkyHelix, I'm with bitter-girl. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
posted by dejah420 at 7:14 AM on June 13, 2012

Same here, FunkyHelix. Wishing you strength.
posted by likeso at 7:21 AM on June 13, 2012

A cat defense story. My fiancee has two cats, not brothers but they're very close. The other day she was trying to give Ashley (aka Chubbington Largepounds) some medicine and he was very vocally expressing his displeasure. Ashley's buddy Carl (aka Snarl) then attacked my fiancee, latching onto her back. I don't know if Carl was defending Chub or thought he was just joining in a general melee. It was very sweet and disturbing at the same time.
posted by marxchivist at 7:55 AM on June 13, 2012

Local animal rescues often have networks of folks willing to provide long term fostering. I have seen folks step up and volunteer in droves when, for example, a soldier in Afghanistan learned that the person caring for his dogs was treating them badly. Helix, I think it's very likely that someone local might do the same for your situation if you give pet rescue people a chance to try. Your sister is maybe not local to you?
posted by Lou Stuells at 7:59 AM on June 13, 2012

The video was presented in an irritating way, but it also contains the supposed victim telling a story that is quite different than the way this incident is described in the body of post. There is no hitting with a hammer, no second story window and no blows meant for the woman taken by the dog. There is, however, a shotgun brandished, after which the woman drives to safety without the dog.

This seems to be a progressive idea being heavily spun, to the point of becoming fiction, for the purposes of publicity and fundraising.
posted by Scram at 8:08 AM on June 13, 2012

...the one he had... would leap over the couch and over the footboard of the bed, too, she can jump over that couch easy as I can jump over a shoe-box

On a similar and off topic note: my next door neighbors a few years and few blocks ago had two Scottish Deerhounds, which are the size of Great Danes and their Irish Wolfhound cousins and share these slapstick antics. One would do jumping jacks all over the street and sidewalk, leaping over cars and shrubbery, if it slipped off its leash. The other ate a birthday cake it found at the back of the top of their refrigerator.
posted by y2karl at 8:11 AM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

As the proud owner of two Great Danes ( Samson and Buttercup ) I can confirm that they are nothing but huge buckets of love. I am not at all surprised that the Dane in this post took the very protective but non aggressive stance that it did. They can also be very clever and persistent as demonstrated in this little SYTL ( self link )
posted by HappyHippo at 9:08 AM on June 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

Ambrosia Voyeur- abuse isn't neccesarily about anger. It's often about power instead/ as well.

Funkyhelix- I'm sorry. I hope things get better for you and your two and four-legged babies soon. And respect for having the strength to do what you're doing.
posted by windykites at 11:06 AM on June 13, 2012

I've seen some fascinating micro-behavior from Danes over the years. Healthy Danes are very alert in this relaxed way. You can often see them making subtle little movements to protect their owners, that you won't even realize are happening unless you look for them.

Danes are wonderful when they're well cared-for, but they're particularly easy to abuse because of their size -- people coop them up, they can get crazy and it destroys their health.

also, i think having a dane would break my heart. they just don't live very long.
posted by lodurr at 11:09 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the post. I suspect it explains why someone special to me suffered abuse. She won't live without pets. I myself have endured some shit for the sake of my cat.

I wish we could find the magic bullet to cure abusers. They aren't really any happier than their victims, from what I've seen.
posted by Goofyy at 11:55 AM on June 13, 2012

The weirdest thing happened to me with this post. It was a tragic thing that happened, but it ended with a shelter changing their rules to accommodate this animal, this dog that sacrificed itself for its owner. So ultimately, I was touched, because that dog? That dog is a goddamn hero. I thought my teenage son should hear this - as a dog lover, as someone with a good heart, because of how this turned out. But every time I tried to tell him what happened, I started to cry. I couldn't even get through the start of the story. He laughed at me, saying, "Gosh mom, you're CRYING!" and I was like, "I know! But you should hear this!" And then I cried some more. Eventually I told him, and then he wiped at his eyes, and I said, "See?" And he said, "Man, it sucks that we live in a world that even needs shelters for battered women." And I said, "I know!"

So thanks for this post. I hate that we live in a world that needs shelters for battered women. I hate that any creature (human or otherwise) ever has to witness such a thing. But the more I hear of policy changes at shelters that increase the likelihood a woman will seek out safety, the more I hear of changes that take into account the love for one's pets, the better I feel. It's a small better, in this world where all this fucked up shit happens, but it's a better.
posted by routergirl at 12:07 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

FunkyHelix: let me know if I can help. I'm sorry you're in such a shitty situation.
posted by echolalia67 at 12:31 PM on June 13, 2012

Thanks for highlighting the way love of pets can be another chain holding a victim to a domestic violence perpetrator. I am still haunted more than a decade later by a case in which I was involved, in which the perpetrator abducted the victim's dog and kitten. He used his knowledge of their whereabouts and access to them to control and manipulate the victim's involvement in criminal proceedings against him. She ended up desperately pleading for a plea offer or dismissal for him, to try to get them back. I was willing to do it, provided the animals were returned to her before we reduced charges, but he said no. I'm pretty sure the pets were already dead then, and that he was hoping to reveal that only after the charges against him went away.

Awful stuff. In my mind, this is right up there with holding children hostage.
posted by bearwife at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

After reading Scram's post, I went through and watched the video. The story in the OP appears not to match it, as he said. A transcript of the relevant portion of the video:

[voice] I literally went through a wall. My dog came over and began to smell me and that's when my abuser kicked him in my hips. And he kind of collapsed onto me. And then he turned around and went after my abuser, and then laid on top of me. My abuser came over and began to punch him, and when he did not get off of me, he grabbed my dog by his collar. We had a porch that you had to walk upstairs to get onto and he threw him off of the porch. As I was coming around the corner he drug him from our house a block to a very busy street and let him go in the middle of a very busy street, with cars coming. He said that if I reached for him or called for him he would shoot him where he stood. I knew that I had to go.

she then flees to her car but before she can put it into drive, he is there pointing a shotgun to her head
without thinking, without praying, she speeds to the closest police station

the police officer said 'I'm going to take you someplace safe' to me
unfortunately when a woman goes to a shelter they do not take pets. I could not let that happen. This animal had just saved my life.

One of the articles says "[the dog] then attacked her abuser, who in turn beat the dog", and mentions that he was later found to have a broken hip and leg, presumably from the throw from the porch. No mention of a hammer, she didn't get thrown out a window. Lovely story about a wonderful animal, but poorly presented here, and I hope everyone who resented the idea of a Great Dane attacking anyone thinks again.

Those comments might also be evidence that almost nobody read any of the links.
posted by jacalata at 1:53 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

FunkyHelix, I've had you in my memory as someone on MeFi I worry for, after at least one comment of yours, maybe years ago. I'm just so relieved for you that you're out. Lean on others, and soldier through it; you are giving your child life for a second time -- not something all mothers get to do.
posted by palliser at 2:16 PM on June 13, 2012

Domestic violence is always about control. What better way to control someone who has become inured to the violence than to threaten the things they love instead?

For all those in controlling relationships; keep going, one day you will be free.
posted by pencil at 2:44 PM on June 13, 2012

I did wonder if there might be legal or anonymity reasons for the varying account details. I trust the shelter story more than the newsy articles, I've known people tangential to news articles and it was appalling how many details were mangled.
posted by Lou Stuells at 4:42 PM on June 13, 2012

Made me cry. It's a very real problem. When I worked at a vet in a rough neighborhood we helped out with sheltering a few cases like this and I think about them often. Serious and heartfelt props to this shelter on the change of policy. Fear for their animals and guilt over leaving them can literally emotionally stop women from seeking shelter.

On a sidenote to FunkyHelix, I don't know where in Jersey you are, but I'm in Philly and am involved with a wonderful network of pet foster parents and can probably help you should you need/want it. Just give me a pm, I'm always around and willing.
posted by troublewithwolves at 6:04 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

jacalata: "Shouldn't this particular dog have been in a vet hospital at that point? (read the article, but haven't watched the video. I've never had a pet so this might be a dumb question.)"

"Should", yes. But since the woman was struggling to find a safe place to sleep that allowed dogs, "how", "when", and "who's going to pay" are the obstacles.

We aren't talking about a comprehensible moment in day-to-day planning here.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:59 PM on June 14, 2012

A lot of animal shelters - particularly major metropolitan areas - will board pets in a domestic violence situation.

If you are worried about leaving your pets behind, or if you are staying in a bad situation because of your pets, please reach out to local no-kill shelters. Even if they don't accept animals officially, many shelters will do their best to make room for animals whose owners are fleeing an abusive relationship.

And if the shelter you contact can't board your pets, they can probably put you in touch with an agency or a foster network that can. There are literally thousands of wonderful, qualified foster homes who would gladly keep your pets safe while you are in transition.

It's great that this dog saved her life. But don't force your own pets to have to make that choice. Here is a list of programs that provide shelter for the pets of domestic violence victims.
posted by ErikaB at 5:10 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks, everyone.
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:19 AM on June 15, 2012

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