YWCA Missoula received a $25,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to help families who are experiencing homelessness or domestic violence stay connected to their pets.
As the face of family changes over the years, what remains constant is the role pets play in our lives. Many people consider pets family members and it can be challenging to find resources when facing life changes and issues such as homelessness, lack of pet-friendly housing, or fleeing domestic violence in search of a safe-haven. Pet parents in these and other at-risk situations often determine they have no options beyond surrendering their beloved pet to a local shelter.
With this grant, YWCA Missoula will help preserve the bond between pets and their people by providing necessary support to families and individuals in crisis. This includes boarding pets for residents who are staying at the YWCA domestic violence shelter or in emergency housing motel rooms. The grant funds will also be used to help families obtain necessary items for their pets, including food and medical care. In addition, this grant will help support the recruitment and training of volunteer pet advocates to provide short-term, loving foster care to pets of participants in YWCA programs.
“Survivors are often afraid to leave their pets behind when fleeing abusive partners,” said Patty Murphy, YWCA Missoula Director of Programs. “This grant will help provide peace of mind to survivors, knowing that their pets will be safely cared for while they take steps to build a better future for themselves and their families.”
“We are proud to support YWCA Missoula in its efforts to keep pets and people together through crisis,” said Jenny Aho, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities. “Because of this vital work, Missoula pet parents will never have to choose between a beloved pet and their own safety.” Since 1994, through its partnership with nearly 4,000 humane societies, SPCAs and pet rescues across North America, PetSmart Charities has helped more than 9.4 million pets to find loving homes via its in-store adoption program in over 1,600 PetSmart® stores. The leading funder of animal welfare has also donated nearly $430 million to improve access to veterinary care, to positively impact communities, to connect people and pets and to help preserve families through initiatives like this with YWCA Missoula.