Family Promise And PetSmart

September 24, 2020

PetSmart Charities has renewed its support of Family Promise with a grant for $25,000. The grant will be used to continue the operations of the Pets with a Promise Program, which operates at Family Promise Affiliates across the United States.

Pets with a Promise began in 2015 when Family Promise realized that families experiencing homelessness were often being forced to make the decision between seeking shelter and keeping a beloved pet. The program provides sheltering services for pets in Affiliate run kennels or other local facilities, so that families can keep their pets while they stay with Family Promise and work to achieve sustainable independent housing.

“At PetSmart Charities, we believe in the importance of preserving the bond between pets and people, no matter what life challenges or circumstances pet parents may be facing,” said Kelly Balthazor, regional relationship at national charity. “We’re proud to once again support Family Promise in providing resources to keep more pets and people together in communities across the nation.”

“During this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, more families than ever are at-risk of losing their home and their sense of normalcy,” said Claas Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Family Promise. “Pets are an important part of a family and provide comfort during difficult times. This grant from PetSmart Charities and the continuation of the Pets with a Promise program, will ensure that more families and their pets receive the support they need until they can achieve sustainable independence.” Family Promise has Affiliates in over 200 communities across the United States which provide prevention, shelter, and stabilization services to families at-risk of and experiencing homelessness. Traditionally, Family Promise Affiliates have operated shelters in community spaces and congregations, but the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted them to find creative ways to continue serving families while ensuring safety.

Little did she and her family know how important their new puppy, Roxie, would become to them when they brought her home three years ago.

There was an immediate connection between Tasha, who suffered from periodic seizures, and the new dog. Roxie stuck close to her human “sister,” even sleeping at the foot of her bed. But no one realized how special their bond was until Roxie witnessed one of Tasha’s seizures.

“Roxie found me and grabbed at me, leading me to Tasha,” recalls Tasha’s mom, Laurie. “Thankfully, I got to her in time.”

From then on, dog and daughter were inseparable, Laurie says.

“Roxie’s my emotional support animal,” Tasha explains. “Whenever I’m about to have a seizure, she finds my mom, whines, and makes her come check on me.”

When the family lost their home and came to Family Promise-Salt Lake, Utah, they worried what would become of Roxie since most agencies barred pets. But Family Promise was able to keep human and canine members of the family together through Pets with a Promise.

“Because Roxie’s expenses were covered, a volunteer offered to board her. The family visited as often as they wanted,” says Family Promise Program Manager, Alyssa York.

For the three months the family was in the emergency shelter program, Roxie had a safe, comfortable home. And although she wasn’t around daily to keep a close eye on Tasha, Roxie enjoyed frequent visits from her family.

The family is now in transitional housing, and Roxie is back at the foot of Tasha’s bed each night.

Since Roxie, the Affiliate has lodged one cat and expects to serve many more families and their pets. York is thrilled about this opportunity.

“Now families don’t have added worries about their pets when they’re in a crisis,” she says. “I love that we don’t have to turn anyone away.” Family Promise envisions a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. What began as a local initiative in Summit, NJ, has become a national movement that involves 200,000 volunteers and served more than 111,000 family members in 2019. Family Promise will change the future for 1 million children by 2030.

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    January 8, 2021

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    January 8, 2021

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    January 8, 2021

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    January 7, 2021

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    January 7, 2021

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    January 7, 2021

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more

    Police Dog Attack

    January 7, 2021

    A resolution headed to the Duluth City Council on Monday could put to rest a lawsuit filed by Teri Lynn Ehlers, an employee of the Patch Motel, who was bitten by a Duluth police dog named Oakley. Former Duluth Police Officer Marc Johnson was a registered guest of the Warroad establishment May 28, 2018, when […]

    Read more

    PAWS With A Cause

    January 7, 2021

    Pebble Hill Plantation and the Thomas County Public Library are pleased to announce the upcoming Enlightening Bites program, “PAWS With a Cause,” on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon in the Flipper Room of the Library. The program is being presented by Jeri Anderson, field representative. Anderson is recently retired from the City of Monticello, […]

    Read more

    Police Canine Team

    January 7, 2021

    Kingston Police revealed in a news release late Wednesday afternoon that they’ve been keeping a four-legged secret for roughly three months. The force announced it added a second canine unit, with the arrival of police service dog Dak this past October. He is working with Const. Jeff Dickson, while police service dog Bask is working […]

    Read more

    K9s For Warriors

    January 7, 2021

    K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides military veterans suffering from severe PTSD, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma with service animals, recently changed the name of its main campus to honor its leader and founder Shari Duval. Duval began K9s For Warriors in 2011 after her son returned from two tours in […]

    Read more

    More Recent News