Reportedly, as many as 40 percent of women who face domestic violence say they don’t leave abusive situations because they’re afraid to leave their pets behind. But one brave woman and survivor was able to turn her nightmare into a solution for other battered women.
One day, she was physically assaulted by her boyfriend at home. He began pulling at her clothing and straight through a wall, then began beating her. That’s when her courageous dog walked into the room.
Her 110-pound Great Dane named J. Matthew laid on top of her as she was brutally attacked with a hammer, taking the blows meant for her. The attacker eventually picked up the dog and led him to a busy intersection, leaving him there to die. In the meantime, the woman was able to escape. Authorities set her up at a nearby women’s shelter, called the Rose Brooks Center.
Though J. Matthew sustained broken bones, he survived the attack. However, the Rose Brooks Center had a no-pets policy. The woman was not about to leave her beloved dog and guardian angel behind, especially after the fact he sacrificed his body for her.
After hearing the woman’s story, the center did something incredible. The staff decided to break its own policy banning dogs, and allowed the woman to bring in J. Matthew and stay there. In 2012, the Rose Brooks Center became the first domestic violence shelter in the region to welcome four-legged family members. It unveiled its new pet kennel adjacent to the center — dedicated to J. Matthew and his mom.
The new pet policy helped save even more lives, prompting women to leave abusive situations and get the help they need.
Watch the video below, courtesy of the Rose Brooks Center, and hear from the survivor herself. She remains anonymous.