"While prosecuting a domestic violence case in the mid '90s, Allie Phillips called a shelter to see if they could host a victim and her three pets.
The shelter staff laughed at her and hung up.
That case has stuck with Phillips, who then was a young prosecutor in Ingham County. The victim wanted Phillips to dismiss the case because she had gone back to her abuser in order to protect her goat and two dogs.
That woman, and the anger Phillips felt after calling the shelter, became the foundation for her nonprofit, Sheltering Animals and Families Together. The group works with domestic violence shelters to create housing for victims and their pets.
'Pets are targets and pawns in the cycle of domestic violence,' Phillips said. 'They stay because they know if they leave, their pet is going to be killed.'"