The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund was created in 2013 in memory of legendary Hollywood casting director, Marion Dougherty, who was forced to leave her pets behind when escaping a domestic violence situation in the 1970s. Thanks to Marion’s legacy and your valued contributions, victims of domestic violence in New York City won’t have to make the same difficult choice that Marion did.
In May 2013, the Alliance began a partnership with Urban Resource Institute (URI) and its People and Animals Living Safely (URIPALS) 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 number of URI pet-friendly living spaces available to people fleeing domestic violence in New York City underwent a significant expansion this year, inspiring more victims to leave abuse, keeping more people and beloved pets out of harm’s way, and reducing the number of animals forced into NYC’s already overcrowded animal shelters.
Thanks to your support of our Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund during October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we exceeded our matching grant goal and raised thousands of dollars to provide pet care equipment and supplies for URI domestic violence shelters that now accept pets. In October and November, we were happy to make our first deliveries to URI, including crates, cat condos, scratching posts, pet beds, litter and litter boxes, dog and cat food and treats, toys, collars, leashes, and more. Your support is providing the resources necessary to allow an even greater number of families with pets to take advantage of these co-sheltering units and move toward new lives together in safety.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer supplies to outfit the pet-friendly units at Urban Resource Institute,” says Jenny Coffey, LMSW, consultant to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. “Co-sheltering offers a solution for pet owners facing domestic violence and we are happy to partner with URI as they work to respond to this issue. This is a triple win for all: families can access safety with their beloved pets, animals do not have to be uprooted, and an overwhelmed animal sheltering network can make room for the truly homeless animals.”
Rita Garza, URI Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Development, reports, “URI is so grateful for the ongoing support of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. Since launching the URIPALS program in May 2013, the Alliance has been instrumental in providing animal welfare education to the staff and clients, much-needed pet supplies, and critical support to the families.”
Help us bring more pet supplies to NYC domestic violence shelters in the new year with a donation to the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund: http://bit.ly/GiveMDSHF
Videos About Domestic Violence and Pets
On November 19, Jenny Coffey, LMSW, consultant to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, appeared on NBC 4 New York to talk to Contessa Brewer about domestic violence and how it specifically impacts individuals and families who have pets.
On October 14, Rita Garza, URI Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Development, spoke at the 2014 Purina Better with Pets Summit about domestic violence, pets, and URIPALS’ groundbreaking work in a presentation called Reinventing Shelters for Humans and Pets (Segment: 38:20–01:07:30).