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Get Out Your Hank-Kerchiefs

  • Heroic Great Dane

    ROSE BROOKS CENTER

He’s come to be known as “Hank,” but that’s not his real name. And his owner’s real name isn’t “McKenzie.”

We’re not going to tell you what “McKenzie’s” former boyfriend’s name is, either. (We have some ideas about what we’d call him, but they’re not printable here.)

What we can tell you is this: In 2011, when McKenzie’s boyfriend attacked her with a hammer and threw her through a wall, the 110-pound Great Dane got in the way, lying on top of his owner and taking many of the blows, suffering a fractured hip and broken ribs in the process. When the dog wouldn’t get out of the way, the abuser dragged him out of the house, threw him off the porch, and then left the severely injured dog at a busy intersection, threatening McKenzie with a shotgun if she interfered.

When she later sought refuge at the Rose Brooks Center, a domestic violence refuge in Kansas City, Mo., she found the center had a “no animals” rule—a common policy at many family shelters.

But there was no way McKenzie was leaving Hank, and on hearing her story, the Rose Brooks Center broke the rule. It broke it first for them, and later changed its policy and took in dozens of pets of people in need of shelter.

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