New dog park welcomes pets of domestic violence survivors

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New Life Center (NLC), the largest domestic violence shelter in Maricopa Country and one of the largest in the country, is excited to announce that it has officially opened a new dog park thanks to a $175,000 grant from PetSmart Charities.

New Life Center just unveiled a Dog Park for Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors. Research conducted over the last two decades reveals that intimate partner abuse and pet abuse are related. According to research done by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 52% of victims in shelters left their pets with their batterers. This can be incredibly jarring and prevent them from fully healing.

Horizon welcomes Myriah Moon, CEO of New Life Center.

“Only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters in the country allow pets to come into shelter with their human families. So, it is very unique for New Life Center to not only have animals on sight, but to have them identified as a family member,” said Moon.

How have people responded to the dog park?

“Great!” said Moon. “People are shocked that why aren’t we doing this more? When we’re talking about barriers and access to services, we know a lot of households have animals and no one wants to leave their pets behind.”

An interesting statistic shared by Moon was that, “Up to 50% of survivors will not leave a violent household due to a family pet that is there with them.” This goes to show the importance of dog parks/pet friendly areas at domestic violence shelters.

NLC assists with pet care?

“Everyone at New Life Center including the pets, have a case plan. We want to make sure their needs are being met. We also know that pets could be a barrier to establishing safe transitional housing so we want to make sure the vaccines are taken care of,” said Moon.

All pets are welcomed at New Life Center.

Myriah Moon, CEO of New Life Center

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