May 11th, 2017
When a veterinary emergency threatened the incredible bond that Chloe, a nine-year-old Chihuahua/Pug mix, shared with her “mom,” Susan, your support of RedRover was their saving grace.
Susan is a domestic violence survivor. But Susan’s 35-year-old daughter, Jenna, did not survive domestic violence. As a way to find purpose in her life again after losing Jenna in 2014, Susan began volunteering for her local domestic violence shelter. That’s where Chloe came into her life.
One day a woman and her young son came into the domestic violence shelter where Susan volunteered, visibly upset and distraught. They told Susan they had just adopted a dog named Chloe from their Reverend who was battling cancer. The Reverend and Chloe had both played parts in helping the woman decide to leave her abuser, but then they were told the shelter didn’t accept pets.
After having Chloe for only a week and a half, they had to make the difficult decision to return Chloe to the Reverend or return to their abuser.
Susan had just received a letter from her therapist saying she could get an emotional support dog, so she contacted the Reverend and met Chloe the next day – and it was instant love.
Chloe seemed to be a natural-born therapy dog. When the Reverend became ill, she was his watchdog while he went through treatments, and she had even saved his life when his heart stopped beating while he was sleeping. And while the Reverend was heartbroken to have to find Chloe a new home because he was too ill to care for her, he was relieved to know Chloe was going to a good home with Susan.
And now, Chloe helps Susan with the grief over losing her daughter, as well as helping with Susan’s PTSD, anxiety and depression as a result of years of living with domestic violence. “She comes to snuggle with me whenever I am feeling depressed, anxious or panicked,” Susan shared. “She calms me down, and she makes me laugh. She helps me get out of the house, and she gives me the unconditional love that I was so needing.”
When Susan discovered that Chloe was suffering from severe dental disease and needed immediate treatment, she was desperate to help her beloved dog get the care she urgently needed.
Unable to pay for the treatment without help, Susan found RedRover through an internet search and applied for a RedRover Relief grant right away. Because of the kindness of our donors, we were able to give Chloe and Susan a RedRover Relief grant, which provides financial assistance for lifesaving care for pets when their owners can’t afford it.
We’re happy to share that Chloe has recovered from her surgery and is back to her happy, loving self. And you’ll be thrilled to know that the domestic violence shelter Susan volunteers was recently awarded a RedRover Relief Safe Housing grant to build co-sheltering rooms in their facility, so families like the woman and her son don’t have to make the difficult choice to escape abuse or give up their pets.
Since RedRover Relief began Safe Housing, we have helped 53 domestic violence shelters become pet-friendly. But still, only 100 or so shelters throughout the country allow pets. In recognition of our 30th Anniversary this year, we are setting the goal of at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in every state by 2022. Your support of RedRover Relief will help make this happen, too.
Not long ago, Susan and Chloe reunited with the woman and her son, and the Reverend. Susan told us, “Chloe totally remembered them and they all had a great time, especially the little boy. Everyone was smiling and laughing, and there was a little crying as well.”
Susan told us, “Chloe is way more than a dog; there is something very special about her. Chloe seems like a loving, caring and funny person behind those big brown eyes. She has been a lifesaver to me, to the woman and her son and to the Reverend.”
You help animals like Chloe live healthy, happy lives. You give their people hope. We simply cannot do this without you. Thank you!