We've seen time and again how important it is to families--especially children--to be able to stay with their pets during their time of homelessness.
Summit, NJ (PRWEB) April 08, 2014
A national program that helps temporarily homeless families keep all members of their family together – including their four-legged family members – officially kicked off its second year today with the announcement of five new locations. The PetSmart Promise program will build dog and cat kennel facilities at day centers for temporarily homeless families across the United States in five new cities this year: Akron, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Montgomery, Alabama; Morristown, New Jersey; and Wasilla, Alaska.
“After taking the program nationwide in 2013, we’re pleased to be working together with PetSmart to expand the number of on-site kennel services we can offer our families in transition,” said Karen Olson, President of Family Promise. “We’ve seen time and time again how important it is to these families – especially the children – to be able to stay with their pets during their time of homelessness.”
PetSmart Promise is a partnership between Family Promise, a national non-profit helping homeless families regain their independence, and PetSmart, the country’s largest specialty pet retailer. The program brings a solution to the heartbreaking decision many homeless families have to make: stay in a shelter and give up their beloved pet (since most shelters do not allow animals) or live on the street in order to keep their family together. The families, who stay in the program an average of nine weeks, will be able to continue to care for their pet and keep their family together during a difficult time.
“Following the hugely successful first year of the PetSmart Promise program, I’m excited to announce the official launch of the second year and these five new on-site locations,” said David Lenhardt, Chief Executive Officer at PetSmart. “Family homelessness continues to be a large problem in America, and we’re honored to be entering into the second year of our partnership with Family Promise so we can keep even more families and their pets together while they get back on their feet.”
PetSmart established a pilot program with Family Promise of Greater Phoenix in 2012, and expanded the program nationwide last year, with the goal of five new facilities opening each year until all 182 Family Promise facilities have the opportunity to participate in the program at a level that is appropriate for them. In 2013, on-site facilities opened in Bozeman, Montana and Fayetteville, North Carolina. In addition, PetSmart PetsHotels® in Houston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Boston, Albuquerque and Colorado Springs opened their doors to the program to provide pets who couldn’t be housed in on-site facilities a place to stay.
In addition to the on-site facilities, PetSmart Promise offers a menu of options for Family Promise Affiliates, based on individual needs and limitations. These options include:
- PetsHotels: complimentary use of boarding space in existing PetSmart stores, for families utilizing nearby Family Promise programs. Following the successful launch of six PetsHotels in 2013, up to 20 hotels are anticipated to join the program in 2014.
- Installation of fish tanks in Family Promise Day Centers across the nation, teaching children and families utilizing the center about the care and responsibility required when owning a pet. 50 aquariums were placed in day centers in 2013, with additional ones being added this year; and
- Creation of a foster network of Family Promise staff and volunteers to house pets when a Family Promise pet housing facility or PetSmart PetsHotel is not available.
About Family Promise
Family Promise is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence. The organization is based in Summit, New Jersey, where they were founded in 1988 on the belief that Americans are compassionate people who want to make a difference. Today, Family Promise comprises 182 Affiliates in 41 states, with more in development. Family Promise programs involve more than 165,000 volunteers and they provide assistance to more than 50,000 family members annually. Family Promise celebrated their 25th Anniversary as a national organization in 2013. Since their founding, they have served more than 500,000 people, including tens of thousands of homeless families who found temporary homes at Affiliates nationwide.
PetSmart is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs approximately 53,000 associates and operates more than 1,333 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 199 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp day care services and pet adoption services. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada, PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 5.7 million pets since 1994. PetSmart Charities, Inc. and PetSmart Charities of Canada (collectively “PetSmart Charities”) are independent, nonprofit organizations that save the lives of homeless pets and reduce shelter intake through spay and neuter efforts. In 2013, nearly 440,000 dogs and cats found homes through PetSmart Charities’ adoption centers in all PetSmart stores and by sponsoring community adoption events. PetSmart Charities is the leader in granting money to help pets in need, with more than $34 million given in 2013 throughout North America.