Help needed to place beloved pets of slain victim of domestic violence

Cocke County, Tenn. – Pit bull advocate and strong activist against breed specific legislation, Suzanne Perez (AKA Zanne), was murdered by her long-time boyfriend, Alfred Terry Brooks, 45, on July 18. She left behind 11 beloved pit bulls and one potbellied pig.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 10.32.12 PMAlfred Terry Brooks, 45 (Source: Cocke County Jail)

After Brooks shot Perez dead in their home, he called and told a neighbor what he had done, according to News Sentinel. SWAT surrounded his home after a standoff, but Brooks later surrendered peacefully. He is being held without bond.

Domestic violence is progressive. Generally, it does not begin with a murder. Perez was likely a victim of repeated and prolonged abuse. There are several reasons why battered victims (typically women) will stay in abusive relationships. One reason is that they don’t want to leave their pets behind, and most women’s shelters do not accommodate animals. As The Guardian explains:

Leaving an abuser can be one of the most dangerous times for a victim. But if you have a pet, leaving is even harder. Almost half of abused victims will delay their departure if they cannot bring their animals.

Perez’ friends, including Teresa Maston, Founder of Rising Dove Rescue, are devastated and mourning the passing of their good friend and fellow animal rescue advocate; but they know she would want her animals to be safe. In Perez’ memory, they are working hard to honor what they know she treasured most while on this earth.

Perez laying alongside one of her beloved pit bulls

Perez’ friends have found placement for 3 of her dogs. They are working on placing 8 dogs and the potbellied pig. They are currently raising funds to provide vetting (including medical examinations, vaccinations, sterilizations, microchips, etc.), and for transport to forever homes, a safe sanctuary, or rescue organizations.

Donations are needed to help vet and place the remaining 9 animals Perez loved deeply. Anyone who can contribute is asked to make a tax-deductible donation through a YouCaring fundraising campaign fund set up by Rise Dove Rescue. You can access the fundraising page by clicking here.

Anyone or any reputable rescue interested in taking any of Perez’ animals is asked to contact Teresa Maston at

A video was made in Perez’ memory, who her friends refer to as a “Pitbull Warrior and Friend.”

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