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Out of the Cage! The Blog of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

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Helping Pets and People in Crisis

The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals created the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program in 2006 in response to the many requests we received from people facing heartbreaking separation from their pets during times of crisis. The program attempted to provide assistance to individuals and families fleeing domestic violence; seniors requiring medical care outside of their home; and families facing eviction or other temporary setbacks.

By collaborating with traditional social services, we offered creative solutions and pet welfare services aimed at keeping pets with their families or reuniting them quickly once their situation was stabilized. If reunification was not possible, the pets were placed for adoption, sparing families already in crisis the further distress of relinquishing their beloved pet in a shelter.

Helping Pets and People in Crisis Toolkit

By assisting in more than 1,000 individual cases since the program's launch in 2006, the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program compiled important resources, information, and promising interventions that can help people, along with their pets, during the most challenging times in their lives. To make these resources easily accessible to social workers and human service organizations and to help them incorporate pet welfare into their work, we created the Helping Pets and People in Crisis Toolkit.

While this toolkit does not serve as an all-inclusive review of available options or resources when dealing with people and their pets in crisis, it is a suggested list of resources, research, assessment tools, and promising practice intervention techniques created as a reference guide for social service professionals. Much of this information is geared to those in New York City, but can be modified for different communities.

Our Partnership with Urban Resource Institute

In May 2013, the Alliance began a partnership with Urban Resource Institute and its URI People and Animals Living Safely (URIPALS) pilot program. URIPALS is the first program for victims of domestic violence in New York City — and one of the few offered nationwide — that offers co-sheltering for families and their pets.

The URIPALS program allows families and their pets to shelter in the emergency facility, preserving the welfare and safety of all. The program began by accepting small animals, such as cats, rabbits, birds, and fish, and later expanded to include dogs. URI is seeking funding and resources to expand the program to other shelters. The Alliance provided essential support in the form of crucial expertise and technical assistance addressing the link between animal welfare and human welfare as well as pet welfare assistance.

Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund

The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals was created to pay for supplies and support to ensure that families seeking refuge from domestic violence do not have to leave their pets behind.


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Helping Pets and People in Crisis in the News

Citywide organization helps domestic violence survivors and their pets

by Jessica Cunnington, News 12 Brooklyn

Friday, December 30, 2016

Urban Resource Institute: Building pet havens for city families in crisis

by Michelle Arnot, New York Nonprofit Media

Friday, December 16, 2016

NYC's pet-friendly domestic violence shelters allow families to heal together

by Sheila Anne Feeney, amNewYork

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Margaret Whitton Specialized in Playing Strong, Sexy Women

by Vineyard Gazette

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Actress and filmmaker Margaret Whitton dies in Palm Beach

by Palm Beach Daily News

Monday, December 5, 2016

More Helping Pets and People in Crisis News…