This fund was established to honor the memory of Jennifer Bushnell, a local community member who lost her life to intimate partner violence. Jennifer loved animals, especially her beloved dog Gucci, who was with her at the time of her death. Jennifer’s parents established the Jennifer Bushnell Memorial Fund to ensure safe boarding for our clients’ dogs or cats while they are in emergency shelter.
Jennifer Alyson Bushnell was taken tragically on February 20, 2007, in Flag City, CA, at the age of 29. She was born in Garberville, CA, and attended Redway Elementary, Miranda Jr. High, and graduated from South Fork High School in 1996. Jennifer attended the College of the Redwoods Nursing Program.
Jennifer always loved animals; while growing up she was a 9-year member of the Garberville 4-H Club. Jennifer has left behind her beloved dog Gucci, who was with her at the time of this horrific tragedy, and then lived with Jennifer’s mother, Angie Gillam.
Animals are frequent targets in intimate partner violence relationships because they often represent an extension of the person who is being abused. Pets are used to demonstrate power and control over the family as well as means of maintaining control. Animals are threatened, beaten, or killed in an effort to maintain control over the person who is being abused. Animal abuse is a recognized form of intimate partner violence because of the deep implications it has for a survivor. Threatening, injuring, or killing animals indicated the potential for increased lethality in the relationship.
Intimate partner violence survivors and advocates have long recognized the abuse of pets; however, due to funding constraints and safety issues, shelters have been largely unable to provide shelter for animals. This inability has created a tremendous barrier to survivors as they contemplate leaving the relationship. Without a guarantee of pet safety, survivors are highly reluctant to leave.
Jennifer Bushnell Memorial Fund
c/o Humboldt Domestic Violence Services
P.O. Box 969
Eureka, CA 95502