Helping Pets and People in Crisis
The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals created the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program in response to the many requests we receive from people facing heartbreaking separation from their pets during times of crisis. The program attempts to provide assistance to individuals and families fleeing domestic violence; seniors requiring medical care outside of their home; and families facing eviction or other temporary setbacks.
By collaborating with traditional social services, we offer creative solutions and pet welfare services aimed at keeping pets with their families or reuniting them quickly once their situation is stabilized. If reunification is not possible, the pets are placed for adoption, sparing families already in crisis the further distress of relinquishing their beloved pet in a shelter.
By assisting in more than 1,000 individual cases since the program's launch in 2006, the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program has compiled important resources, information, and promising interventions that can help people, along with their pets, during the most challenging times in their lives. To make these resources easily accessible to social workers and human service organizations and to help them incorporate pet welfare into their work, we created the Helping Pets and People in Crisis Toolkit.
While this toolkit does not serve as an all-inclusive review of available options or resources when dealing with people and their pets in crisis, it is a suggested list of resources, research, assessment tools, and promising practice intervention techniques created as a reference guide for social service professionals. Much of this information is geared to those in New York City, but can be modified for different communities.
In May 2013, the Alliance began a partnership with Urban Resource Institute and its URI People and Animals Living Safely (URIPALS) pilot program. URIPALS is the first program for victims of domestic violence in New York City — and one of the few offered nationwide — that offers co-sheltering for families and their pets.
The URIPALS program allows families and their pets to shelter in the emergency facility, preserving the welfare and safety of all. The program began by accepting small animals, such as cats, rabbits, birds, and fish, and later expanded to include dogs. URI is seeking funding and resources to expand the program to other shelters. The Alliance provides essential support in the form of crucial expertise and technical assistance addressing the link between animal welfare and human welfare as well as pet welfare assistance.
The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals pays for supplies and support to ensure that families seeking refuge from domestic violence do not have to leave their pets behind.
Helping Pets and People in Crisis in the News
by Nathaniel Fields, City Limits
Thursday, May 19, 2016
by Julie Falconer, Animal Sheltering
by Steve Dale, Chicago Tribune
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
by Gemma Smith, NYC Pet Tails
Wednesday, January 6, 2016