Providing accommodations for pets at domestic violence shelters helps victims escape abuse
PHOENIX, Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and many victims fear that their abuser will retaliate and harm a beloved pet if they leave. With as few as 10 percent of domestic violence shelters accepting pets into their facilities, victims often delay escaping to protect their animals.
PetSmart Charities, the top funder of animal welfare in the U.S. and Canada, continues to support the movement to keep survivors and their pets together when seeking safety and shelter. Funding supports an array of programs such as pet-friendly domestic violence shelters, deposits for pet-friendly housing, emergency pet boarding and other initiatives to ensure pets and people remain together when they need stability and companionship the most.
“An overwhelming number of victims in shelters report their abusers threatened, injured and even killed pets as means of controlling their behavior,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “The love and companionship given by a pet is so comforting to someone who has been through pain and trauma. We want human services agencies to know that empowering survivors means supporting their pets, too. Making provisions for pets at shelters removes one more barrier when facing the difficult decision to escape. And in some cases, it means saving lives.”
PetSmart Charities, the top funder of animal welfare in North America, has delivered nearly $3 million in grant funding under the Preserving Families Initiative. The mission of the grant funding aims to keep people and pets together in times of crises. The unique movement seeks to support animal and human services agencies for those fleeing domestic abuse, the unsheltered, those too ill to care for their pets and LGBTQ+ youth facing housing instability. A few include:
- Nuzzles & Co, Salt Lake City/Park City, UT
$80,000 will support the Purple Paw Program for victims experiencing domestic violence with pet sheltering and intervention services to support the resolution of the human crisis with a goal of serving an estimated 175 people and their pets.
- City of Chicago
$100,000 will support the Chicago Emergency Pet Preservation Program to provide pet intervention services and supplies for persons experiencing domestic abuse, homelessness or at risk of homelessness with a goal of serving an estimated 1,000 people and their pets.
It will also support the second year of a pilot program that uses the city supported Domestic Violence hotline and coordinated entry system to offer financial assistance and boarding for both people and their pets for families attempting to flee or maintain independence.
- Ahimsa House Inc, Georgia
$101,000 will be used to upgrade their database and provide for insights research and a training model to help teach others how to do this. Funds are also allocated for operations of the program, which is primarily database and connection-making for pet intervention services and sheltering for persons experiencing domestic violence, with a goal of serving an estimated 435 people and their pets.
PetSmart Charities will receive the Trailblazer Award this month from the Urban Resource Institute (URI) in New York. URI works to end cycles of poverty, domestic violence, homelessness and trauma. Since 2019, PetSmart Charities delivered more than $570,000 in grants and program sponsorships to URI in support of support documenting and spreading their model. In New York, URI’s are the only shelters that co-house people and pets.
For more information visit: petsmartcharities.org/pro/grants/preserving-families
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps nearly 600,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and emergency relief. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at PetSmartCharities.org, while shopping at PetSmart.com, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $475 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.
Follow PetSmart Charities on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PetSmartChariTs
Find PetSmart Charities on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/PetSmartCharities
Follow PetSmart Charities on Instagram: www.instagram.com/PetSmartCharities
See PetSmart Charities on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmartCharitiesInc