June 5th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
Bailey* had been the most important part of Diane’s* life since she was an itty bitty kitten. This beautiful Persian cat was four years old and loved everyone – though there was no one she loved more than Diane. Naturally, she was mama’s little princess, and they snuggled together every night.
Diane had been living with her partner for a long time. He had a cat of his own, and despite treating his cat with love and care, he was rude and aggressive toward Bailey just as he was controlling and abusive toward Diane. He would shove Bailey off of the kitchen counter often, and once in a fit of rage meant for Diane, he kicked Bailey and yelled at her. When Diane pleaded with him not to take his anger out on Bailey, he cruelly replied with, “Why not? She’s your cat.”
She was only able to escape his violence when it sent her to the hospital. From there, she entered a domestic violence shelter, without a chance to return to her partner’s home and bring Bailey with her. For eight long, torturous days, Diane knew Bailey was not safe in that home and she hoped desperately for the opportunity to save her baby. The shelter she was staying in did not have space for pets but, fortunately, they knew of a way they could help Diane.
When her advocate told her about the RedRover Relief Safe Escape grant program, Diane was so happy and so relieved to learn that not only would Bailey be safely boarded, but she could see a veterinarian and get whatever treatment she might need after spending so many days vulnerable to violence. Even though she couldn’t visit once Bailey was safe in the care of their local humane society, Diane called every day to check on her, thinking of the day they would be reunited and live in peace together.
Diane’s search for safe, affordable housing was a long one, with some bumps along the way. What began as a 30-day stay at the humane society for Bailey became a 128-day stay, but Diane had finally secured housing that would suit their needs, and was just waiting for it to be move-in ready. By then the humane society had been sending her pictures of Bailey since they hadn’t been together in so long, and Diane was alive with hope and happiness thinking about how soon she would see her sweet girl again.
“I feel great and am very thankful that the humane society was able to take such good care of her and give her a lot of loving while I was in shelter. I called and called every day to check on my baby and the staff were very kind and informative about how Bailey was doing and they would share stories of what was happening and made me laugh about her being in the playroom.”
Thank you for reading Diane and Bailey’s Survivor Story! We are grateful for your compassionate heart and for your commitment to making happy, peaceful lives possible for survivors and their pets. We hope you’ll join us in keeping more families together through crisis by visiting 25by2025.org and learning more about our goal to help 25% of domestic violence shelters nationwide become pet friendly by 2025!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy