Family Promise, the nation’s leading nonprofit helping families experiencing homelessness, is proud to announce the launch of Pets with a Promise, which provides direct funding for Family Promise Affiliates nationwide for a variety of services, allowing families to keep their pets while working towards independence in the program.
The program launched with the help of a $150,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, which will be disbursed in $2,500 increments to participating Family Promise Affiliates. The funds will allow Affiliates to offer direct services to families with pets including boarding, vaccinations, veterinary care, pet supplies, and transportation related to boarding or fostering.
This program continues a five-year effort to address the heartbreaking choice that families often face when losing their homes—to seek shelter or to keep their beloved pet. Family Promise President Claas Ehlers said, “Just because children and their families lose their homes, they should not have to lose their pets. PetSmart Charities recognizes that its resources can prevent that additional trauma for families and keep the whole family—including its four-legged members—together. With their support and through the work of our 200+ Family Promise Affiliates, Pets with a Promise is an important part of a holistic, community-based approach to addressing family homelessness.”
Family Promise began working with PetSmart, Inc. in 2012 with the innovative PetSmart Promise program. On-site kennel facilities were built at Family Promise Day Centers nationwide to house guests’ pets. PetSmart also donated and installed aquariums to help teach the values and responsibilities of pet ownership, provided boarding space at PetsHotels, and created a fostering manual and network to house pets when on-site facilities were not available.
That program has been shifted to PetSmart Charites in 2017, but the mission remains the same—keeping families and their pets together.
“At PetSmart Charities, our mission is to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities. “By working with organizations like Family Promise to support Pets with a Promise, we hope to create more resources for families with pets during difficult transitions and alleviate pet homelessness across the country.”