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Rose Brooks Center Builds New Pet Shelter in Honor of “Hank”, National Dogs of Valor Winner

The Humane Society of the United States recognized “Hank” with national award

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, recently announced that “Hank”, a Great Dane from Kansas City, Missouri, received the top honor in its fifth annual Dogs of Valor Awards for protecting his owner from an abusive partner.

Hank earned the Valor Dog of the Year and People’s Hero awards helping shield his owner from her boyfriend who was viciously attacking her with a hammer. Although Hank’s hip and several ribs were broken, he provided enough of a distraction to allow his owner to escape the brutal attack. After both were treated, Hank and his owner were reunited at Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City.

“It’s difficult to imagine the amount of courage it must have taken for a dog to deliberately put himself in such a horrifying scenario,” said Colin Berry, director of Innovations for The HSUS. “Hank did it without hesitation though, demonstrating once again the undeniable intelligence and compassionate nature present in animals.”

Following the attack, “McKenzie,” Hank’s owner, received shelter at Rose Brooks Center, a domestic violence agency in Kansas City, MO. Because of the dangerous situation, Rose Brooks Center made an exception to their “no animal policy,” and opened their doors to Hank when his owner called for help. The benefits of having Hank there not only prompted a change in the center’s policy, but also led the center to add new animal facilities to their building expansion plan.

“Rose Brooks believes in family,” said Susan Miller, Rose Brooks Center CEO. “Our work every day is to keep families safe and help them rebuild their lives. And pets are part of that family too. We’ve simply redefined what “family” means to us.”

Rose Brooks Center has broken ground on the new construction but is still raising the funds to cover the $140,000 animal-friendly addition. The shelter, which will be completed in May, will be only the second free-standing domestic violence pet shelter in the country.