April 11th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
Because only 17% of domestic violence shelters nationwide are currently able to accommodate pets, many survivors may choose to endure abuse rather than leave their pets behind. RedRover is committed to a future where no one will have to make that choice, and RedRover Relief Safe Escape grants fulfill an immediate, crucial need in the meantime by paying for the costs of pet boarding while a survivor is in a domestic violence shelter.
We receive Safe Escape grant applications that sometimes include harrowing details of abuse, but with our support – and yours, there can be peace and happiness where despair once thrived. This is Violet and Baby’s Survivor Story.
As Violet* contemplated leaving her abuser, she was afraid of what would happen to her elderly mother, for whom Violet was the primary caretaker, and her dog, Baby*. A future without them, no matter how safe or peaceful, was unimaginable. When she could no longer endure the abuse, Violet tearfully brought Baby to their local animal shelter and said her goodbyes, believing there was no other choice.
Her advocate at the domestic violence shelter explained they could apply for a RedRover Relief Safe Escape grant that would cover the costs of boarding Baby while Violet remained at the shelter. She jumped at the opportunity to keep her sweet boy and immediately retrieved him from the shelter before he could be adopted by another family.
Because of generous support from people like you who understand that pets are family, Baby remained safely boarded until he and Violet could be reunited in their new home, away from harm. By then, she had found a job and made sure their new home could accommodate her mother’s physical needs. Violet’s gratitude was immeasurable:
“It meant everything to have RedRover cover boarding costs for Baby! I am very attached to my dog. He’s a family member to us. I definitely thought about Baby when making the decision to leave and stayed with my abuser longer because Baby is like another child to my family. It was a hard decision and ultimately, I had to take him to an animal shelter before learning about RedRover. I was on the brink of losing him when RedRover stepped in and helped with boarding fees. Thanks to your services, I was able to reclaim Baby and place him at a local pet resort for boarding. I’m so very grateful!”
Violet needed to extend her stay twice at the shelter while she worked hard to secure housing and employment, and her advocate stood by her side the entire time to ensure that Baby too would still be safe. She, like Violet, was deeply appreciative of the difference a Safe Escape grant can make:
“RedRover is such a tremendous asset to survivors fleeing domestic violence. The ease of the application and extension process and the compassion of the staff is a true blessing for survivors and those of us who work to support them. It really has helped alleviate a major stressor for her and allowed her to retain possession of Baby through all of this uncertainty in her life. Thank you!”
All of us at RedRover share this gratitude and appreciation for the second chances at happy, peaceful lives you make possible for survivors and their pets. Thank you for your compassionate heart and for your help in bringing us closer to our goal of 25% of domestic violence shelters nationwide becoming pet friendly by 2025!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy