A battered women’s shelter in Missouri has changed its policy all because of a dog hero. Last year a heroic Great Dane used his body as a shield to save his beloved owner. Her domestic partner was attacking her with a hammer and her dog lay on top of her and took the blows for her. The dog suffered several broken ribs and a broken hip according to the New York Daily Times. He and the woman were then thrown out of a second story window.
The shelter agreed to take in the woman but they had a strict no pet policy. The woman chose not to abandon “her angel” and refused help unless her dog was also included. She did not want to leave her beloved dog in the hands of her abuser. Sadly this is a common story. Many women, up to 40 percent according to statistics, choose to keep their dogs with them perhaps to the detriment of themselves and their children. Some decide to live in their cars or make alternate arrangements because most shelters do not have the space or facilities for dogs.
The Missouri shelter decided to change its policy, however. They have put in 7 kennels for future pets and are expanding their program to allow pets. They have realized that pets make a big difference in the lives of these people. The CEO of the shelter, Susan Miller said:
“They (the pets) 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.”