Victim Adopt Program

Connecting abused animals with human abuse victims

human abuse victim“I was assaulted, thrown to the ground, robbed at gun point, and after they took everything from me – one of them came back and lifted the barrel of a gun to my face. Bam. Bam. Bam. The sound of the trigger. The sound of death coming for me, everyday I live in fear because I do not know how to face both my past and the world. I do not know how to move forward.

In the end, the gun turned out to discharge BB pellets. But at point blank range, the wounds left on my face have damaged my skin permanently.
Every time I look at myself I see that terror. Every time I look at the scars left upon my face, I relive that moment. That instant in where I was trapped someplace. That instance in where my soul had been severed from me.

I have no mirrors in my house. I cannot look at my own face without seeing his. I cannot walk down the street without fearing he will come for me. That he will come to take the rest: my life, my heart, my spirit.

Today I met a man who told me that I no longer have to be alone. That he will show me how to give my life more purpose. He told me about suffering and about the struggles of his own past. He told me about razor wire, about insurmountable dark nights. And as his words dropped from the sky into the Earth, the pain that I held inside – I felt better knowing someone understood me.

Marc told me he does not know how to teach me not to be afraid. And that he doesn’t know how I can look at my face again without seeing my assailant. But he also told me that he will pay for me to get cosmetic surgery. To help erase the scars from my face, and that hopefully with pouring myself into something, eventually erase the pain from me.

Marc brought Dot to see me. A dog who is both a victim of abuse and someone who still has not let go. Marc told me that dogs who suffer the same thing, that they do not forget. That they travel through life with these eternal wounds cut open. That they too are broken.

He told me about his foundation and about the dogs they save and the indescribable abuse that many of them have to endure. He told me about his mission to connect these victims of crimes with human victims of similar crimes. That no one will be more understanding of the suffering then someone who lived through it. When I first me Dot she was scared. She cowered in the corner afraid. And when I looked at her, when I looked at the way she shook in fear, I knew she was reliving the moment when someone beat her, when someone cut off her leg.

When my hand touched her body, all the hate within me, all the fear, all that mental anguish and suffering that I had to endure – I cried tears that I had been too afraid to cry. I cried poems that I had written and stories I could not speak…

Marc told me that that when I hold this dog close to my body – my past and hers, that it would connect me. That he would not have to convince me why I needed this dog in my life, that it would be my soul and hers – the intertwining. As I held her in my arms and shed tears, I watched droplets form in her own eyes. Two tears that fell into the palm of my hand. Those two drops – were death and suffering. It was life and a new beginning. It was the truth that Marc drove all this way to bring to me – to let my suffering and hers be the impetus that pushes me forward.

I am not a victim. I am an Animal Hope and Wellness miracle. I am the truth and proof behind the fact that dogs can rescue humans. Today – life spared me. Today, a man who traveled half way across the world to rescue both dogs and himself, found purpose an hour and a half away.

When Marc hugged me goodbye, his whispered in my ear, “This is everything I stand for. This is everything I sacrifice my life to obtain. This is the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation.”

When he left, I knew a part of my suffering helped to heal something broken within him. He left behind the story of a dog who came to save me. When he left…he took my misery. “