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  • Writer's pictureInterval House of Ottawa

Keisha* and Annie*'s Story

"My ex-partner developed a drug addiction. When he was under the influence, he was violent and aggressive. I would try my best to stay out of his way when he was like this, but sometimes there was no way to avoid it. My dog, Annie, was

very protective during his episodes. She would put herself between me and him, and bark when he got too close. She was not only my best friend, but my protector. I knew I had to escape my relationship, but I couldn’t bear to leave Annie behind. I was so grateful to find IHO and learn that they could shelter and support me and Annie, together. I would not be where I am today without Annie, and without IHO for giving us the opportunity to stay and heal each other.” – Keisha*, a former resident

Unfortunately, Keisha's story is not unique. It is common for survivors to remain in abusive relationships for fear of their abuser hurting their pet. Interval House of Ottawa is the only shelter in eastern Ontario that allows survivors to house their pets at the shelter. Pets are an important part of a survivor's journey to heal, and IHO is happy to support these furry companions.

*names have been changed for confidentiality

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