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  • Writer's pictureInterval House of Ottawa

Amanda & Tako

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Woman in sunshine holding and kissing small black dog

Home is a safe retreat for many of us. But for some, home is a place of violence and fear. Amanda met her ex-partner when he was in Ottawa for work. She moved out East to be with him, bringing her 10 year old dog Ruger. But her partner changed when she arrived, he controlled what she did and who she saw, and was jealous of her relationship with Ruger. Soon after she moved in, he began to physically assault her.

Amanda took Ruger and left, returning to Ottawa. But her partner’s employer convinced her to return because they said he was a better person when she was in his life. The company offered to support them both in healing their relationship. Amanda wanted to believe he could change, so she returned. But soon the abuse started again. When Amanda was thinking of leaving a second time, her worst nightmare happened. Her partner killed Ruger while she was at work.


"The first time I left, my ex-partner took my cats and I never saw them again.

This time, at Interval House of Ottawa, I was able to bring my two cats with me

which greatly benefits myself and my children. We spend time together in a

comfortable and safe atmosphere. IHO allowed us to be together as a

family and I will forever be grateful for that."

-An ex-resident


Amanda left her abuser, staying with a friend in New Brunswick. She felt so alone without Ruger’s companionship, particularly as she tried to heal from the trauma of abuse. After some time, she got Tako, a new puppy. But her abuser, wanting to punish her for leaving, tracked her down and abducted Tako. She was terrified of what would happen, knowing he had killed a pet before. Amanda called police, who removed Tako and arrested her abuser on 11 counts.

When he was being released a short time later, Victim Services believed Amanda was at great risk of violence and assisted her in moving to a shelter in Ottawa. Amanda’s only hesitation was being separated from Tako. His behaviour changed after the abduction; he was more timid and less friendly with strangers. Fortunately, she found IHO where they could stay together.


"I felt a huge relief when I was told that my cats could come with me

to Interval House of Ottawa. I don't think I would have left my

situation if my cats had to stay behind. Thank you IHO for the support."

-An ex-resident


Amanda has experienced a significant amount of trauma from her relationship. Tako provides her with a great source of love and comfort; they are able to heal together at IHO. Since Tako’s arrival he received a wellness check at no cost thanks to our partnership with VCA Canada Alta Vista Animal Hospital (AVAH). They also provided a pro bono neuter, which was something Amanda could not afford at this time of transition.

Amanda won’t be held back because of abuse, especially with Tako’s support. She is now going back to school and hopes to complete a Social Work program so she can provide support to women like the support she and Tako received at IHO.

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