This is the last of the nine segments which Univision Seattle, KUNS Channel 51, is proudly airing on Wednesdays at 6pm and 11pm. This segment focuses on RASKC’s Angel Fund, but provides an underlying message about its support to victims of domestic violence. Learn more about RASKC’s stories on Univision.
[Anchors: Jaime Mendez and Paula Lamas]
Paula: Pets who live with human beings, pets are impacted by the same problem as their owners such as domestic violence, and in many cases they too become victims.
Jaime: This was the case of Frankie, a shih-tzu , that lived this very situation which left him in a very hard state.
[Voiceover by Lluvia Ellison-Morales, RASKC Administrator]
Frankie is a survivor of domestic violence, he arrived to our shelter in Kent in June of 2013. When he arrived, Frankie’s jaw was broken and his eyesight was gone, we started our investigation and that was when we found out that there were issues of domestic violence at home between a couple. The boyfriend had allegedly hit the girlfriend and unfortunately Frankie as well. When he arrived, the owner of the dog realized that the dog couldn’t stay at home, on top of this, she realized that the costs to repair his jaw were going to be more than $6,000. So, the owner gave us her pet which might have been the best thing she could have done for the pet. Perhaps it might have been the case for a shelter to say this is too costly, this isn’t something we can help with, and leave the pet as is. But, thanks to a fund that we have, “Angel Fund”, people donate and these funds are specifically to preserve and care for dogs and cats in this type of situation. Thanks to these funds we were able to use the money for this dog to help heal him and place him in a home where someone could care for him. And now, I’m happy to say that Frankie is happy and living in a warm new home where he is loved. So what we would like to say to the public is “thank you”, thank you to the public for helping us in this fashion so we can continue to help and care for pets.
[Anchors: Jaime Mendez and Paula Lamas / Spokesperson: Lluvia Ellison-Morales, RASKC Administrator]
Paula: As you can see, the work that comes out from the Angel Fund is invaluable because it literally saves the lives of abandoned pets and from situations so severe as the one we just saw.
Jaime: Lluvia Ellison-Morales is here to discuss more about this support that helps animals. Welcome once again Lluvia, you come always with great projects. Angel Fund, what is this about, tell us more.
Lluvia: This was set up as fund for people to donate, this helps protect animals that have been abandoned and it really provides them with a second chance at life. Whether they come hurt, sick or perhaps even harmed, with these funds we are able to provide them with the surgery they need or to see the specialist that can help.
Paula: This fund needs our help, is that correct?
Lluvia: Of course, first we would like to thank those who would like to donate. And if you want to donate then they can do this online, http://www.kingcounty.gov/pets or they can come in person to Kent or send us a check.
Jaime: We’ll be sure to put this information up on the screen so you can note this very important information and everyone can participate. But, there’s an even stronger message here…
Lluvia: Yes, and that is that domestic violence does exist. And not only is it something that affects people but pets as well. So the message we are trying to get across to the public is that, many times with domestic violence, one of the symptoms or ways to detect if this is something happening at home is when pets are harmed. We are here to support the community, we are here to support victims, so what we ultimately want the community to know is that they can count on us. If someone sees that animal abuse is taking place, we ask that they please contact us.
Paula: To detect if it is domestic violence, if someone takes a newspapers and hits a pet, is that considered domestic violence?
Lluvia: It really depends on the situation, but that’s why we are here as a resource to investigate which is primarily what we do. But the second thing that we want people to know is that,in case there is a victim who wants to leave and they don’t know what to do with their pet, they can bring them to us. We’ll care for them without a fee, this is a service we provide to the public.
Jaime: These are things that people don’t know about or think about but that happen, it’s great that you’re here telling us about this and so many of the other things that we have discussed in these stories we have been doing with King County. Also, Lluvia, if you can tell us again the information if someone wants to inquire more about this program or make a donation..
Lluvia: Of course, they can contact us at kingcounty.gov/pets they can also call us at 206-296-PETS. We also have resources, we can help victims who have questions and provide answers on how King County can be of help.
Paula: Thank you so much for the great work you guys are doing at King County.
Lluvia: Thank you
Jaime: Pets are like kids, little people, and we have to care for them. I like the question you asked which is, what defines domestic violence.. it’s being aggressive to a person. With a little animal, one can’t keep them on a short leash or leave them outside in the cold.
Paula: Also known as animal cruelty, correct?
Lluvia: Yes, that’s correct
Jaime: Thank you so much Lluvia