In the late 1990s, Dr Frank Ascione from Utah State University published some scary statistics: 48 percent of domestic violence victims will stay in an abusive situation because they fear leaving their pets behind.
In New York City in 2013, the Urban Resource Institute teamed up with sponsorship from Purina to launch a pilot program: People and Animals Living Safely (PALS). PALS is a co-sheltering program that allows pets to escape domestic violence and remain with their owners in pet-friendly apartments. A first for New York City, it’s been remarkably successful. The apartments are always full.
So this year, the program was expanded to include a dog park and play area for the sheltered animals. Aptly called the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park, this park, full of enrichment activities, was designed by a professional architect.
In these videos on YouTube, have a look at the dog park and hear about how this program fills a need for those unfortunate enough to have become the victims of domestic violence.
Sometimes ‘big corporate’ money can be used for a higher purpose!
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand