PRNewswire - Legendary Hollywood casting director Marion Dougherty is helping protect domestic violence victims and their pets, even after her passing. Her estate has donated $80,000 to the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals to establish the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund to help victims of domestic violence and their pets to find safety together.
The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund will support the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program. It will fund the Alliance's work finding shelter for domestic violence victims and their pets together, and it will help pay for temporary shelter and care of pets who are separated from their owners in domestic violence situations.
Research shows that 48% of battered women have delayed leaving their abuser, or have returned to the abusive situation, out of fear for the welfare of their animals.
Jane Hoffman, president of the Alliance, said, "This generous gift from Marion Dougherty will go a long way to protect vulnerable people and pets and help them remain together during times of crisis."
Dougherty died in 2011 at the age of 88. According to Margaret Whitton, a film director who serves as president of Tashtego Films, Marion Dougherty lived a paradox.
"By day, Marion was a powerhouse. By night, she was a victim of spousal abuse. At age 50, after 20 years of abuse, Marion fled her marriage and was forced to leave behind her beloved cats. But until the effects of repeated concussions and Alzheimer's took away her memory, she remained haunted by the animals she left behind," according to Whitton, one of Marion's closest friends.
The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals will help transform the lives of domestic violence victims and their pets, and extend the legacy of this extraordinary woman.
This generous $80,000 gift, to be given over two years, will provide supplies and support to the Mayor's Alliance and Urban Resource Institute PALS partnership, ensuring families seeking refuge from domestic violence at URI's shelter can bring their pets with them. This will help to ensure that pets are vaccinated and spayed/neutered and provided care while each family is in shelter.
The fund will help provide temporary care of pets of victims of domestic violence in NYC to help victims make plans for their pets. The Alliance will assist with vet care and short-term boarding to give families a chance to arrange a safe plan and not remain in danger, ensuring their pets can flee to safety as well.
To support the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund, please visit http://bit.ly/DonateMDSHF .