KANSAS CITY, Mo. and SHAWNEE, Kan., June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Women fleeing violent homes no longer have to decide between getting safe and protecting their beloved pet. This week, Rose Brooks Center, the area's leading family violence agency, began accepting four-legged victims of violence at their new Paws Place pet shelter, presented in partnership with Bayer Animal Health, a leading global animal health company.
This free-standing pet shelter is only the second of its kind in the country, and will provide protection to pets of families living at Rose Brooks Center's emergency shelter. The pet shelter will be able to provide safety for up to eight family pets each night.
"Rose Brooks believes in family," said Susan Miller, Rose Brooks Center CEO. "Our work every day is to keep families safe and help them rebuild their lives. And pets are part of that family too. We've simply redefined what 'family' means to us."
National statistics report more than 80 percent of pet owners who enter a domestic violence shelter say they would have left their threatening situation much sooner if they hadn't feared for the safety of their pet. In fact, an abuser frequently threatens, maims or kills a family pet to further terrorize and control their victims.
The new pet shelter was inspired by a courageous woman, "McKenzie," and her Great Dane, "Hank." Hank suffered two broken ribs and a fractured hip when he protected his owner from being beaten to death with a hammer by her boyfriend.
Because of McKenzie's dangerous situation, Rose Brooks Center made an exception to their "no animal policy" and allowed Hank to stay at the center.
"They didn't have to take us," said McKenzie. "They could have said, 'I'm sorry, we simply don't allow pets.' But Rose Brooks Center's commitment to keeping families safe was more powerful than any rule. And I thank God every day for that."
"Bayer employees were moved by the heroic story of McKenzie and Hank and inspired by the action the Rose Brooks Center decided to take in building the Paws Place pet shelter," said Ian Spinks, president and general manager, Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division, North America. "Protecting, curing and caring about animal health together is what we do, so partnering with the Rose Brooks Center was something we felt important."
McKenzie and Hank's story received attention across the country. After a nationwide vote, Hank was selected as The Humane Society of the United States' Dog of the Year and People's Hero award recipient. Hank was honored at the Paws Place Grand Opening Celebration on Wednesday, June 13.
Rose Brooks Center
Rose Brooks Center is a comprehensive domestic violence agency providing a full continuum of care including prevention programming, crisis intervention and other supportive services to thousands of women, children and pets each year. In 2011, Rose Brooks Center served more than 17,000 women and children and provided 57,822 safe nights to victims escaping abusive homes. To learn more about Rose Brooks Center, please visit www.RoseBrooks.org.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 17.169 billion (2011), is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide.
With sales of approximately EUR 1.2 billion in 2011, Bayer's Animal Health division is one of the world's leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The business manufactures and markets approximately 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for food-supplying animals and companion animals. U.S. Headquarters for Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division is located in Shawnee, Kansas. Find more information at www.bayerhealthcare.com.