This October, Purina and the Urban Resource Institute (URI) teamed up to open Manhattan’s first ever dog park inside a domestic violence shelter. Purina sponsored the design and construction of the park at the Urban Women’s retreat to provide victims of domestic abuse, their families and their pets a safe, welcoming environment where they can be together.
Survivors and Pets Together
In remarks at the ceremony, Purina veterinarian Dr. Kurt Venator explained the significance of pet-friendly shelters, noting that “studies show 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind.” Those fears, it turns out, are unfortunately well grounded. “Seventy percent of pet owners who enter shelters report that the abuser has threatened, injured or killed family pets,” says Dr. Venator.”
A Growing Partnership
This is not the first time Purina and URIPALS have collaborated. In 2014 Purina sponsored the Purina Play Haven, a dog park at a domestic violence shelter in Brooklyn, at URI’s Safe Haven shelter. Prior to that, Purina played an instrumental role in establishing URIPALS (People and Animals Living Safely), the only program in New York that allows victims of domestic violence to bring pets with them when they enter shelters. Purina also provided welcome kits for families that include essentials like food, toys, litter, crates and other pet related items.
A Way Forward
Transitioning to life in the wake of domestic violence is a painful experience. When survivors can make that transition in the company of the pets they love, it makes things just a little easier. The partnership between Purina and URIPALS is helping to keep families and their pets together at a time when they need it the most.
A Common Purpose
For more than 80 years, Purina has been dedicated to the belief that pets and people are better together. In the service of that belief, Purina has invested millions of dollars in pet welfare and care communities across the country, and donated pet food and litter to more than 940 U.S. pet welfare organizations. According to Dr. Venator, as soon as Purina became aware of URI they began looking for ways to collaborate because the values of both organizations were so closely aligned.
You can learn more about the incredible work URIPALS does, or make a contribution at their website.