Rescue Cat and Owner on a Mission to End Domestic Violence

Kyle the cat story for PetSmart Charities CWith a handsome handlebar mustache and a knack for sitting pretty, Kyle was made for Instagram fame. But, the 7(ish)-year-old rescue cat is more than just perfect whiskers. Kyle leverages his growing fan base of nearly 70,000 followers to raise money and awareness for pet-friendly domestic violence shelters.


“When we adopted him, the shelter told us we were lucky he was available for adoption,“ explains Jen, Kyle’s mom. He was one of several cats being held as part of a murder investigation.”


About seven years ago, Kyle and a handful of other cats that lived in his former home, witnessed a murder—a case of domestic violence that ended fatally and landed him at the shelter.


Kyle the cat story for PetSmart Charities BJen thought it was only fitting that such an unusual cat would come from an unusual past, but didn’t look further into the details until Kyle’s curious fan base asked for details. “I started posting pictures of Kyle on Reddit, the response was so great that I started posting his pictures on Instagram,” says Jen. “I always found it interesting the Kyle was a witness to a murder so I incorporated that aspect of his life in his bio and people wanted to know more about it.”  


A copy of the evidence record was even included in Kyle's adoption file, Jen dug deeper to find out the details of Kyle’s tragic past.


“I started Googling domestic violence and pets and found out there’s this huge need for domestic violence shelters to accept pets,” she said. “Until I got Kyle I didn’t even know there was this dire need.”


Jen learned staggering statistics that brought Kyle’s mission to life, including the fact that 45 percent of battered women have delayed their decision to leave their abuser out of fear for their pet's safety yet less than five percent of domestic violence shelters accept pets.


Today, the duo partner with various 501(c)3 organizations, including RedRover and the New York City Urban Resource Institute’s People and Animals Living Safely (URIPALS) program. All proceeds generated from Kyle’s good looks and charm are turned over to cause.


“There is a dire need for animal-friendly domestic violence shelters,” says Jen, “pets are not only critical in the recovery process but they’re also recovering from the experience themselves, it’s a mutual healing process.”Kyle the cat story for PetSmart Charities A


Follow Kyle on Instagram


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