Community Animal Resource Education & Safety (CARES)

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Elllie's Story

Our Programs > Ellie's Safe Haven Program

Ellie's Story as told by her Sister

Even as a child Ellie showed love and respect for all animals she had contact with and our pets were her playmates. As an adult she showed great compassion toward the animals she helped rescue, and during the most trying and difficult times of her life her pets were her loving companions. As she felt the loss of a loving human relationship she bonded even more deeply with her pets.

Unfortunately I had moved away from the area so our visits during the last year of her life were not as frequent as either of us wanted, but during our phone conversations I became aware that she was as concerned for her pets as she was concerned for her safety. I did spend a few wonderful days with her just before she died and now I treasure those memories. While we did fill those days with deep conversation and laughter, we did talk about her safety and her choices. I asked her to leave her fearful house, but she would not leave her pets. Now I realize she did not think she had a choice and it makes me sad to think how scared she must have been.

She would not admit how vulnerable her life was because she wanted to protect me and our 87 year old Mom. She was afraid to leave her house so sadly our Mom did not see her at all during the last year of her life. When at age 93, my Mom asked me to take her framed photo off the wall, I knew how deep the pain of losing her youngest daughter was. Slowly she said... looking at Ellie's smiling face reminded her that Ellie would never walk through her door again and engulf her in a loving hug. She felt as if she was in a fog that would not lift.

Her shocking and senseless death has left her family and friends feeling helpless and wishing we had done more. No one should live with the fear Ellie felt, but the impact on her family is forever and we will always grieve for her. There is an empty space in our hearts and she never wanted us to feel this pain.

I realize she felt trapped, but I do know Ellie would want me to encourage women in similar circumstances to take advantage of the program CARES offers. It provides a choice and it can open a door to a happier future.

Good luck with this wonderful mission.

Ellie with her cat, Euro

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