October 19th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
Seven years ago, Cara* was faced with losing her home and could not take Chloe*, her sweet, older pittie with her. With time running out, she tried desperately but wasn’t able to rehome her baby. She made the difficult decision to surrender Chloe to the local shelter out of an abundance of love and hope that someone would cherish her as much as she did. Still, she was filled with regret. She was absolutely heartbroken when she learned her baby had not been adopted but had been euthanized. Devastated, Cara vowed that she would not adopt another dog unless she could save them from the same fate as Chloe.
Three years later, she was in a much better situation, employed and without the risk of her housing being pulled out from under her. She was scrolling online one fateful day and saw a Facebook post from a woman needing to rehome her five-year-old pitbull because she was about to be homeless and living in her car. Like Cara three years before, this woman just wanted a better life for her dog just as she had for Chloe. Cara knew she could save this handsome boy from an uncertain future and give him the life his family wanted for him. Without hesitation, she drove four hours roundtrip to bring Jasper* home with her.
They have been together ever since. After two years together, they moved halfway across the country together to live with her ex, with whom Cara had rekindled her relationship from ten years ago. The first few honeymoon months passed, then Cara’s partner began to show his true colors. He would intimidate both Cara and Jasper, and leave Jasper outside to bait the many hungry, stray dogs in their wooded community. Cara had no money to speak of after the cross-country move and no way to leave once the abuse began to escalate. He would physically beat her and her beloved dog while making threats to kill them both. Having lost Chloe, Cara refused to let anything happen to her boy. She started living in her car to protect Jasper, but unfortunately, he couldn’t be with her at all times, and she wouldn’t go to a domestic violence shelter if it meant leaving sweet Jasper behind.
Fortunately, she found support in her new community and sought shelter. Her advocate at the domestic violence shelter helped her apply for a RedRover Relief Safe Escape grant. Once Jasper was safely away from the abusive ex-partner, Cara could focus on healing and regaining her independence. The future seemed uncertain, but whatever their next chapter would be, she and Jasper would face it together.
Thank you for your compassionate support in making next chapters possible for survivors and their pets! Families like Cara and Jasper are together today because of you, and we hope to keep many more pets and families together through crisis as we make progress toward our goal of 25% of domestic violence shelters nationwide being able to welcome pets by the end of 2025 ♥
*Names have been changed to protect privacy