PetSmart Charities funds Urban Resource Institute's domestic violence study
The $260,000 donation will fund URI’s study examining pets’ roles in domestic violence situations, including how they can be a barrier to seeking safety and the therapeutic effects of the human-animal bond.
Roughly 50% of domestic violence survivors won’t consider shelter for themselves without their pet, often preventing them from seeking safety due to the lack of pet-friendly accommodations in domestic violence shelters, according to research published in the PALS Report & Survey: Domestic Violence and Pets: Breaking Barriers to Safety and Healing. This same survey also revealed that 91% of people reported the presence of pets helped them heal from trauma.
To learn more about the relationship between companion animals and domestic violence survivors, the Urban Resource Institute (URI), the largest provider of domestic violence residential services and champion of co-living for survivors and pets, is conducting a 2-year research survey. The generous PetSmart Charities’ grant will enable the URI to examine the situation of survivors and pets and the efficacy of the co-living model in domestic violence shelters, according to an organizational release. This is the third grant PetSmart Charities has awarded URI, for a total of $510,000 in donations.
“URI’s pioneering pet-friendly domestic violence shelter program, People and Animals Living Safely (PALS), was launched in 2013 when research unveiled a clear gap in services for domestic violence victims with pets,” says Nathaniel M. Fields, CEO of URI, in the release.
“Our data-driven approach demands we constantly seek knowledge of our model efficacy and client base to continue to innovate, be responsive and provide the highest quality care. We are grateful to PetSmart Charities for their continued support and collaboration in better understanding the intersection of pets and domestic abuse, and thus better serving all survivors and the pets they love.”
What’s more? The study will analyze the effects of entering a shelter with and without a pet, including the domestic violence victims’ coping strategies, healing, and resilience. The results will educate the URI program and other programs nationwide on the needs and best methods for sheltering survivors of domestic violence and their pets.
“While we are well aware of the comfort and support pets provide, especially during times of crisis, we recognize that additional data will allow organizations nationwide to better serve survivors and pets,” says Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities.
“We are proud to once again partner with URI in providing resources to survivors and their pets, in the hope that no pet parent will ever have to sacrifice their safety or be separated from a beloved pet when they are needed most.”
PetSmart Charities donation followed Gilbreath’s participation in a virtual panel event in which the URI and National Domestic Violence Hotline presented data from the new PALS Survey and discussed the connection between domestic violence and pets. PetSmart Charities also helped fund this event and the survey.
Learn more about the URI and its mission here.