Great Dane Stops Hammer Attack; Now Top Dog at Women’s Shelter

Battered victim refused to leave her four-legged savior behind.

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A hero in profile—this Great Dane saved the life of his female owner. (Photo: KCTV-5)

The statistics are powerful and disturbing. According to The American Humane Society, 71 percent of pet-owning females who enter women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control family members.

Up to 40 percent of women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their animals if they leave. Because of their loyalty to their animals, and the psychological comfort dogs and cats provide, battered women have been known to live in their cars for months waiting for an available opening in a pet-friendly safe house.

But, thanks to one brave Great Dane, a 110-pound hero canine whose name has not been released to media outlets, things could be changing.

The New York Daily News reports that the courageous dog threw himself on top of the woman as her boyfriend beat her mercilessly with both sides of a hammer. The dog leapt on top of the woman, an act of valor that caused him to suffer a broken hip, rib and other bones, before the man threw both woman and dog out a second story window.

The victim, who wanted to remain anonymous, refused to leave “her angel” behind when she went to the Rose Brooks Center shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, said the center's chief executive Susan Miller.

“She was not going to leave her pet alone with him. He saved her life." The woman and her dog have since moved on from the shelter.

The Rose Center is adding seven kennels and a play area. The shelter needs to raise about $140,000, to finish the pet wing.

To help the Rose Center offer shelter and support to battered women and their pets, click here.

Comments

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When my son and I left my husband of 27 years, he had our dog put to sleep knowing that we had planned an ocean trip with her the next week; She was not sickly or suffering. As soon as things settled we got a great dane. I still call him by my other dogs name sometimes. He is amazing and gentle.
Great Danes are an amazingly gentle breed. Too bad the guy probably knew that...... The dog could have ripped his face off in a second otherwise, and no tears would be shed on my part.
Bart, Yes, absolutely okay to prevent the crime of animal cruelty. I wish I'd had a Dane like you to deal with my ex. I understand the conflict, because when an inherently protective person, a "good" person causes harm to another, even justified, his conscious will question the violoence. It's that self-questioning that makes you one of the "good guys." You were acting in defense of others, and that you include dogs in your definition of "others" speaks to your evolved sense of responsibilities. I for one, am glad you acted, and the world would be a better place with more like you.
i was introduced to great danes before marrying my husband, he would bring one to work to socialize the pet. they are a big and powerful breeed.
So how does everyone feel about this? Is it ok to enact violence on someone to stop violence against a pet? At one point in my life I witnessed a fellow man severely kicking a stray dog who'd wandered up looking for a bite of food probably. I couldn't take it and laid the guy out cold with a barrage of punches to the head. I've always felt conflicted about it but it felt like the natural thing to do. A softer approach to stop the animal abuse and he'd have likely turned the anger towards me. What I did saved the pets life, any thoughts?
In answer to some back and forth about domestic violence statistics, I thought I would add the actual stats with source information for people's information. Here they are: National Domestic violence One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, July 2000. The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999) Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend to 3 million women who are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend per year. (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, March 1998. The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999) Women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15%. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003) Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data. (Rennison, C. (2003, Feb). Intimate partner violence. Us. Dpt. of Justice/Office of Justice Programs. NXJ 197838. Straus, M. & Gelles, R. (1990). Physical violence in American families. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence. National Institute of Justice, NCJ 181867.) Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.) Between 1993 and 2004, intimate partner violence on average made up 22% of nonfatal intimate partner victimizations against women. The same year, intimate partners committed 3% of all violent crime against men. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.) Separated and divorced males and females are at a greater risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.) Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey, August 1995) Average annual rates of intimate partner victimization between 1994 and 2004 are approximately the same for non-Hispanic and Hispanic females and males. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.) Intimate partner violence affects people regardless of income. However, people with lower annual income (below $25K) are at a 3-times higher risk of intimate partner violence than people with higher annual income (over $50K).* (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.) *Please note that those with less resources are more likely to report incidents of violence On average between 1993 and 2004, residents of urban areas experienced highest level of nonfatal intimate partner violence. Residents in suburban and rural areas were equally likely to experience such violence, about 20% less than those in urban areas. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.) Nearly 2.2 million people called a domestic violence crisis or hot line in 2004 to escape crisis situations, seek advice, or assist someone they thought might be victims. (National Network to End Domestic Violence) Studies show that access to shelter services leads to a 60-70% reduction in incidence and severity of re-assault during the 3-12 months’ follow up period compared to women who did not access shelter. Shelter services led to greater reduction in severe re-assault than did seeking court or law enforcement protection, or moving to a new location. (Campbell, JC, PhD, RN, FAAN. Anna D. Wolf, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Protective Action and Re-assault: Findings from the RAVE study.) Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year. (Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, 2006. Lieberman Research Inc., Tracking Survey conducted for The Advertising Council and the Family Violence Prevention Fund, July – October 1996) Domestic violence homicides On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.) Most intimate partner homicides occur between spouses, though boyfriends/girlfriends have committed about the same number of homicides in recent years. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)
What an awesome dog. Thank goodness the dog and she survived.
Whoa laurie !!!!! I cannot let these false figures stand. 50% are men ????? where on earth did you get your figures. It's more like 5 - 10%. Yes, most men don't want to call the police but it is no where near 50%. I used to work at the national domestice violence hotline and can gurantee my figures. Oh that it was 50-50 !
This story of a dog saving his owner's life at his own expense is amazing and beautiful. My heart goes out to all involved. I want to balance this gender-biased article, though, with the realization that 50% of domestic violence victims are men. Women perpetrate actually more than 50% of domestic violence against men and women's attacks can be as violent and deadly and men's. More mothers abuse their children than fathers. Over 200 research studies have consistently confirmed this from victim and perpetrator reports (see the research of Murray Straus of the Family Research Lab). Additionally, many of the most violent and brutal and even fatal attacks on children are done at the hands of mothers. Your article gives a false and sexist impression and plays into stereotypes which vilify men and make women into victims. Sexual and domestic violence are NOT gender crimes, they are human crimes.
I know what it's like I'm one of the 71%!
Women can certainly be unreasonable, headstrong, and every bit as evil as men but that is no reason to resort to physical violence. If things get that bad where violence is even contemplated the man should just leave. That's the sign of a real man. And, needless to say, the dog is a totally innocent bystander who should never under any circumstances be harmed. These male spouse abusers give our gender a bad name and should be shunned by all good men.