AZCentral.com - Family Promise of Greater Phoenix has joined forces with Phoenix-based PetSmart Inc. to create the area’s first emergency shelter that also accommodates a family's pet. With a donation topping $33,000, PetSmart is helping to rehab a two-bedroom apartment at the shelter into a pet area complete with a dog run, crates, kennels, food and a place to bathe a furry friend.
The program is aimed at helping 25 families over the next year and the facility, located in Scottsdale, is scheduled to open its doors in October, said Ted Taylor, executive director of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix.
Families involved in the Pet Promise program will receive the support of the shelter and partnership of 23 churches and faith organizations to help them move through homelessness, like any family seeking shelter with the non-profit. The difference is their pets will be able to stay close as they get back on their feet.
If the program goes well, PetSmart could look to extend the program nationally, said Joe O'Leary, a PetSmart executive vice president.
For Taylor, this is an incredible opportunity to help a family in crisis. He recounted the story of one family served by the non-profit whose dog was able to get foster care instead of being put up for adoption, which helped the family through a tough time.
"We want them to be with that animal in that crisis, because that pet is family," Taylor said. "Families today in homelessness with pets are just like our families."
Family Promise is a national organization with locations throughout the country, integrating a combination of services including shelter, case management and training to help families get back on their feet. For more information on Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, visit www.familypromiseaz.org.
Written by Kellie Medjrich
Image via Family Promise of Greater Phoenix