Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Launches Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund to Assist Domestic Violence Victims and Their Pets

Hollywood casting director Marion Dougherty was forced to leave her pets behind when escaping a domestic violence situation in the 1970s. Your contribution to the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund will help ensure that others in New York City won't have to make that same choice.

Hollywood casting director Marion Dougherty was forced to leave her pets behind when escaping a domestic violence situation in the 1970s. Your contribution to the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund will help ensure that others in New York City won’t have to make that same choice.

Monday, July 29, 2013 – New York, NY – Marion Dougherty, the legendary Hollywood casting director, is helping protect domestic violence victims and their pets, even after her passing. Her estate has donated $80,000 to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to establish the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund to help victims of domestic violence and their pets to find safety, together.

Called a “one-woman casting revolution,” Dougherty’s career spanned 50 years. She cast some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in their earliest roles, including Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and Warren Beatty, and suggested Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker in the groundbreaking television show, All in the Family.

The donation coincides with the August 5 premiere of the new HBO documentary, Casting By, directed by Tom Donahue, featuring Dougherty as one of Hollywood’s most influential casting directors.

Dougherty died in 2011 at the age of 88. According to Margaret Whitton, a film director who serves as president of Tashtego Films and Co-Executive Producer of Casting By, Marion Dougherty lived a paradox.

“By day, Marion was a powerhouse. By night, she was a victim of spousal abuse. At age 50, after 20 years of abuse, Marion fled her marriage and was forced to leave behind her beloved cats. But until the effects of repeated concussions and Alzheimer’s took away her memory, she remained haunted by the animals she left behind,” according to Whitton, one of Marion’s closest friends.

The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund will support the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program. It will fund the Alliance’s work finding shelter for domestic violence victims and their pets together, and will help pay for temporary shelter and care of pets who are separated from their owners in domestic violence situations.

Research shows that 48 percent of battered women have delayed leaving their abuser, or have returned to the abusive situation, out of fear for the welfare of their animals.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Alliance, said, “This generous gift from Marion Dougherty will go a long way to protect vulnerable people and pets and help them remain together during times of crisis.”

To learn more and to support the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund, please visit www.MDSafeHaven.org.


Mayor's Alliance for NYC's AnimalsAbout the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals®
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that works with more than 150 partner rescue groups and no-kill shelters to offer important programs and services to save the lives of NYC’s homeless animals. Receiving no government funding, we are supported by donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. As we mark our tenth anniversary in 2013, we are committed to transforming New York City into a no-kill community by 2015: where no dogs or cats of reasonable health and temperament will be killed merely because they do not have homes. www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org

Media Contact

Maggie O’Neill
Phone: (917) 653-5460

Learn More Save a Life. Donate Now.

Cats, Dogs, Events & Campaigns, Fundraising, Helping Pets and People in Crisis, Pet Care & Training, Press ReleasePermalink