September 22nd, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
Myra* was profoundly grateful when upon seizing an opportunity to flee abuse, she was able to bring her three cats with her. If she had to choose between leaving with just the clothes on her back or leaving with DJ*, her male black cat, and Apollo* and Hermes*, her two ginger boys, she figured clothes were replaceable – her cats certainly were not.
Though her family of four was now safe from immediate harm, Myra was unsure of what their next steps would be or where they would go. She had been protecting her kitties from abuse for years now, and it was just as important to her for them to finally have peace as it was for her. But time was of the essence, so she opted to move in with a friend in a nearby town.
It proved to be a hasty and regrettable decision: her friend’s home was chaotic, cramped, and had little space for Myra to sleep, let alone start rebuilding her life. She knew that she and her boys would not find healing there. When she contacted a domestic violence shelter hoping they would have a space available for her, she was momentarily devastated to hear that she would not be able to bring DJ, Apollo, and Hermes with her. The shelter advocate then told her that they could apply for a RedRover Relief Safe Escape grant to board her cats, and Myra was as ecstatic as she was devastated just seconds before.
Myra had to come to the shelter before she and her advocate could apply for a grant, which meant that her three boys would have to stay at her friend’s house for the time being. She worried all night that they weren’t being fed or were afraid not knowing where she had gone. The three feline brothers had always been together with Myra, and it pained her to be separated from them, they were her everything. But she remained optimistic that she would find a safe place for them and that they would be together again soon.
Her advocate helped her find a local groomer who could board DJ, Apollo, and Hermes and who would allow Myra to come visit them. All of the pieces were falling into place for Myra to rebuild her life and start a new chapter with her cats. As they were receiving love and attention from the groomer, she was able to find a safe home for them to share. After two months apart, Myra picked DJ, Apollo, and Hermes up from the groomer. They would be taking their next steps together.
Later, after Myra had departed the shelter, her advocate reached out to RedRover to share how meaningful the Safe Escape grant had been for their client:
“Although [Myra] is not sitting with me right now to complete this, I want you to know that she said over and over how thankful she was to know her cats were safe and well cared for. She was able to visit them which was very meaningful for her. Your service means the world to our survivors!”
Likewise, it means the world to us that your support helps keep families like Myra, DJ, Apollo, and Hermes together through crisis. And because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are especially grateful for the progress we’ve made together toward our 25 by 2025 goal: the percentage of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters has increased from 17% to 18.7% in the last few months alone! Thank you for your compassionate support in making second chances possible for survivors and their pets! ♥
*Names have been changed to protect privacy