This March, the Urban Resource Institute and Purina announced once again that they are teaming up in support of URIPALS—New York City’s first initiative to allow victims of domestic violence to enter shelters with their pets. Purina sponsored the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park, which will give families at URI’s largest emergency shelter in New York City, a safe and calming retreat in which they can heal together. The unique dog park features a ramp, tunnel, and platform for dogs to use for play and exercise, as well as an overhead trellis to ensure the privacy and security of shelter residents.
URI and Purina are working together in reducing barriers to safety for families with pets in domestic violence situations, and they hope to continue raising awareness about the impact of abuse on the whole family—including pets.
“At Purina we believe that people and pets are better together,” commented Lindsey Hogan, Brand Manager of Purina, “and pets bring a lot of comfort to people through stressful situations. This shelter is the first of its kind, which is why we’re proud to support a program that gives people and pets a safe place to stay together.”
“Since launching URIPALS, we’ve seen how transformative it is for families in domestic violence situations to go through the healing process together with their pets,” said Nathaniel Fields, President of URI. “As we open our doors to families with dogs and celebrate this critical milestone for URIPALS, we hope to continue the momentum and inspire other organizations in major cities nationwide that this initiative is possible. We are grateful to Purina for helping URI make this dog park a reality, and for their shared commitment to keeping people and pets together, especially in times of crisis.”
“When I found out I could bring my pets with me, I was relieved. If you know you have a safe place to go, you’ll take your pets with you,” said one domestic violence survivor currently in URI’s shelter. “I’m so grateful to Purina and URI for helping me and other families with pets stay together.”
The Purina Play Haven and Dog Park was designed by Gerard P. Paul, Principal, GEPPAUL ARCHITECTS. “We’re honored to have worked with URI and Purina to create an innovative space to support this important initiative,” said Paul. “Working with limited space is always a challenge in New York City, and we wanted to do everything we could to make sure that the pets and people in URI’s shelter had a safe and truly enjoyable outdoor area to spend quality time together.”
Survivors of domestic violence are all too familiar with the difficulties associated with building a new life. This continued partnership more fully allows families with pets to receive the safety and care they need in times of crisis, with the understanding that pets are also a major part of the healing process.