More than 80 percent of pet owners who enter a domestic violence shelter say they would have left their threatening situation much sooner if they hadn’t feared for the safety of their pet. In addition to spousal or child abuse an abuser frequently threatens, maims or kills a family pet to further terrorize and control their victims. Bayer Animal Health has partnered with an agency that helps domestic violence victims to open the Paws Place pet shelter.
The free-standing pet shelter was inspired by a woman’s devotion to her Great Dane and ultimately the Great Dane’s Devotion to it owner when she was being beaten with a hammer. Paws Place at the Rose Brooks Center is only the second of its kind in the country and will provide protection for up to 8 pets per night of families living at Rose Brooks Center’s emergency shelter in Kansas City, Mo.
“Bayer employees were moved by the heroic story of Hank, and inspired by the action the Rose Brooks Center decided to take on building the Paws Place pet shelter,” said Ian Spinks, president of Bayer Animal Health. “Protecting, curing and caring about animal health together is what we do, so partnering with the Rose Brooks Center was something we felt important.”
This is just a temporary solution to help get women and their children out of domestic violence environments but the hope is that women will leave their situations sooner if they know they can bring the family dog along with them and not leave them behind. Since the shelter is open to women, children, and the family dog often the dogs bring help and hope to other families through interaction with the dogs.