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Need URGENT help! Abuse case! - January 27th 2017, 02:27 AM

I am a 21 year old female living at home with my family. My situation is very unique and strange, and one that is hard to explain, but one that requires immediate action, and needs desperate help. I have been physically, emotionally, and mentally abused by my father my whole life. I have severe depersonalization-derealization disorder, agoraphobia, and PTSD. I am barely functioning as a person. Because of all the issues I have with anxiety and depression, my parents did go ahead and get me a dog. I was going to be making this puppy my service dog but at the moment we couldnít afford the whole training process, so we had been going about it our own way. I have had the dog for 8 months now, and we are finally at a place we can afford professional training. However, he is not scheduled for the training to start for another 2 months. But this dog is my very best friend. Right now, however, it is very hard for me to take care of him and get him to a safe place. But I need to run away. I need to leave my house.

I have no money to my name. My anxiety has made it nearly impossible for me to work, however, Iíve decided to suck it up and send in a bunch of applications for minimum wage jobs. I need to find an apartment, but I cannot afford one right now. I cannot afford to take care of my dog, let alone myself. I am decided to run away to a shelter. My fatherís abuse has become terrifying. I am worried for my safety and need to leave.

However, what do I do with my dog? I LOVE him to pieces, but I donít know if I can take him with me. I do not want to leave him at home. But I also do not want to put him up for adoption!!! I canít!! Is there any place I can have him temporarily go? Or are there any shelters that accept abused women AND their dogs? Or is there a foster system that helps out with this kind of thing and would take my dog TEMPORARILY and give him back when I am stable, within a few months?

ALSO, WHERE do I go?
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Re: Need URGENT help! Abuse case! - January 27th 2017, 08:41 AM

Is there a friend or neighbor who could take the dog?

Also, is there a friend or neighbor who would take you in for a few days?

(I'm wondering if with all your mental health issues if a shelter might be overwhelming for you.)

Are you getting treatment for your mental health issues?

Do you also live with your mother? Is she someone you can talk to?

Are you still with that church?

There may be some sort of mental wellness organization. I'm not sure where you live and what's available there. You could try calling 211 and see if they can list for you organisations that provide housing and services for people who suffer mental illness problems. (You're not the only one.)

(There might be a roundabout way of declaring a dog to be a therapy pet. I recall a friend who said they just went to the internet and for a fee they just declared their dog a therapy pet, and got some trinket for the dog to wear which was good enough to satisfy anyone who questioned it. It was good enough for her needs. I can see for your case a trained dog could be a lot more helpful.)

If you can't think of any places for your dog, perhaps you could instead try thinking of people who could care for your dog. (Possibly someone who already has a dog wouldn't mind having 2 for a while.)
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Re: Need URGENT help! Abuse case! - January 27th 2017, 02:06 PM

Maybe you can look into some shelters to go to. You may also be able to look for abuse advocacy groups around your area. If you are able to find some, people from there may be able to help you find some living arrangements and also a place for your dog.

As for your dog, do you have friends or distant family that you and/or your dog could stay at for a while? If you don't you may be able to look into a shelter that takes pets.

How comfortable are you with your mother? Is telling her what your father has done to you and telling her that you're leaving an option? If it is, maybe she can help you get out, or make some kind of arrangements for your dog. Regardless, I hope you find a safe place to stay.

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Re: Need URGENT help! Abuse case! - January 29th 2017, 02:38 AM

Hey there,
I am so sorry you're going through this. My initial thoughts was to register your dog as an Emotional Support Animal. Emotional Support Animals dont require training, you just need a note from a doctor or therapist saying that this animal is helpful to your recovery for mental health. However, Emotional Support Animals are not completely protected by law like Psychiatric service dogs are. ESAs are protected under the fair housing act but not necessarily in a homeless shelter, as a homeless shelter is kind of tricky. I've been trying to find the specific laws but seems like it varies from location to location. Like Cassado suggested an Abuse victim advocacy group, another advocacy group you can try is the Disability advocacy and perhaps they can help with the legal side of things for people who need animals for accommodations.

I also want to provide the runaway hotline that TH has to offer. For the USA it is
National Runaway Safeline1800 786 2929
and for the UK it is
Runaway Helpline116 000
In addition, please feel free to contact any of the hotlines as needed. The Hotlines are organized by category such as Eating Disorder, Self Harm, Suicide, as well as by country such as the US and the UK. I am not sure where you live but I hope this can help a little.

If you see a therapist, perhaps you can ask them about a case manager? Case managers help with what is called "Care Coordination" which means that while a therapist is more inclined to address the emotional and thought patterns of a situation, the case manager or case worker focus on the logistical side of things such as finding you housing and health services based on your profile. There are usually case managers, also alternatively called case workers or crisis managers, who work in community centers and social service agencies.

Please feel free to come back here and update whenever you can. We are here for you.
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