J Matthew’s Legacy



Many of you may remember their heroic story of love, triumph over abuse, and finding safety at Rose Brooks Center. In 2011, McKenzie was brought to Rose Brooks by the police, after her abuser had brutally beaten her. Her Great Dane, had saved her life by laying on top of her during the attack, before they both escaped. We immediately found space for McKenzie along with her “angel.”

It was on that night, Rose Brooks Center accepted its first pet and soon committed to building an on-site pet shelter, allowing survivors and their pets to heal together. With heavy hearts, we, along with McKenzie, share his passing with you. J. Matthew’s strength, heart, and mighty spirit will live on forever, not only because of the hundreds of lives they have saved through the pet
shelter they inspired, but because of his heroism and his mom’s recognition of the healing power of their incredible bond.

“I had the privilege of loving J. Matthew, and the honor of being his earthly ‘Mommie.’ I will love him forever. Our job now is to ensure no one is ever separated from their fur-baby again due to domestic violence.” – McKenzie

Nearly a year after his passing and much healing, we respectfully introduce The J. Matthew Legacy Fund. This fund is being established in the life and memory of J. Matthew, an extraordinary Great Dane who shared his love for 9 years and 105 days. He is truly missed, and will forever live in our hearts. The objective of The J. Matthew Legacy Fund is simple:To provide funding that allows adults and children escaping abuse a place to bring their cherished family pets to heal and flourish. In helping support his fund, you will help ensure the life-saving care is available, for the entire family.

It is our goal, that The J. Matthew Legacy Fund will continue to provide quality care in the safety of shelter, enrichment activities, and coordinated vet care for the animals – to help make sure they are happy and healthy.

If you would like to participate in supporting the legacy of J. Matthew, while providing safety and shelter for pets and their owners, please specify your gift as a tribute or visit The J. Matthew Legacy Fund website at www.rosebrooks.org/jmatthewfund.

To read more about the history and mission of our pet shelter, please visit us online at www.rosebrooks.org/services/pet-shelter.

Rose Brooks Is Here

Rose Brooks Center

Rose Brooks Center is about saving lives. Read letters from the CEO, stories about featured programs, and more here.

Bridge Program

Serving patients experiencing domestic violence in the safety of local hospitals and clinics.

Children's Programs

Offering a wide variety of services to support the emotional and physical well-being of children who are healing from domestic violence.

Community Training

Since 2001, Rose Brooks Center has been providing quality domestic violence education to the Kansas City community and beyond.

Court Advocacy

Advocating for and guiding survivors through complex court systems.

Economic Empowerment

Helping survivors repair the effects of economic abuse through credit repair, budgeting, and education.

Emergency Shelter

Providing a safe sanctuary where individuals, families, and pets are welcomed, wrapped in support, and can begin to heal.

Employment Advocacy

Employment Advocacy includes developing job interview skills, job search, and ongoing support to survivors in maintaining employment.


Providing confidential support, information, individual safety planning, resources, and more. The 24-hour Hotline is 816-861-6100.


Helping survivors find safe, affordable housing and gain economic stability within a safe home, free from violence.

Onsite Clinic

On-site medical and healthcare services within the safety of emergency shelter.

Pet Shelter

An on-site state-of-the art pet shelter for dogs, cats, and other family pets.

Police Advocacy

Providing advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and education for officers to improve victims safety.

Project SAFE

A school-based violence prevention program working to end the cycle of domestic violence by providing support to youth dealing with violence at home or communities.


Stories about our incredible volunteers and the work they do to support our mission.