ASPCA Pledges Continued Support for URIPALS
Urban Resource Institute (URI) has announced that it has received a $75,000 grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in support of URIPALS, New York City’s only program that shelters domestic violence victims with their pets. This is the second consecutive year that the ASPCA has awarded the grant to URI.
URI launched URIPALS in June 2013 as a pilot program in response to the great need among domestic violence victims and their families for shelters that would accept pets. As many as 48 percent of victims of domestic violence remain in abusive situations for fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind, and 71 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters report that their abusers have threatened, harmed or killed a family pet.
The 2015 grant from the ASPCA will continue to fund a URIPALS coordinator position established by an initial grant in 2014. Over the past year, the URIPALS coordinator has worked closely with families and pets within URI’s largest emergency shelter to provide the support and services they need to heal and move forward with their lives. In addition to funding the URIPALS coordinator position, ASPCA has worked to ensure that pets entering the URIPALS program received proper care via its Cruelty Intervention Advocacy program and the ASPCA Animal Hospital, providing pets with medical exams, vaccinations, behavioral support, spay and neuter surgery, and fostering.
“Pets are members of the family, and no one, especially victims of domestic violence, should have to make the impossible decision to leave their pets behind during times of crisis,” said Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of URI. “With the help of the ASPCA, URI is working to ensure that fewer victims of domestic violence and their families have to make the terrible choice between their safety and leaving a pet. As URIPALS continues to grow, it is our hope that the program will serve as a model for sheltering families with their pets nationwide.”
“We’re honored to continue supporting this innovative program that is keeping people and pets together during times of crisis,” said Allison Cardona, senior director of the ASPCA’s Cruelty Intervention Advocacy program. “Allowing survivors to be with their pets during this critical time provides comfort and stability that facilitates the healing process as they move forward with their lives. We urge shelters in New York City and across the country to implement similar programs that make it possible for pets and people to stay together.”