In February, we told you about the ASPCA’s collaboration with the Urban Resource Institute in support of their “People and Animals Living Safely” program, URIPALS. The first ever initiative of its kind, URIPALS provides safe shelter not only for domestic violence victims, but for their pets as well. Now, in an exciting update, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) has announced their own campaign in support of the program.
In recognition of Pet Safety Awareness Month, the OCDV campaign will canvass New York City via retail outlets and grassroots distribution with the goal of raising awareness about the URIPALS program. Participating retailers include Petland Discounts, C-Town, and Bravo Supermarkets.
“Survivors who flee an abusive home no longer need to leave their beloved pets behind,” says OCDV Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis. “Now, the entire family can find safety and security together in a supportive domestic violence shelter.”
Studies show that as many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind. One survivor in URI’s shelter stated, “My dogs are like my children, and I couldn’t imagine leaving them behind…I was so relieved to find URIPALS and escape violence with my whole family.” URI is currently the only one of NYC’s 50 domestic violence shelters that accommodates pets.
Nathaniel Fields, President and CEO of URI, states, “With this campaign, OCDV is taking a bold step in spreading the word about URIPALS so that we can help more New Yorkers escape abuse and rebuild their lives as a family unit.”
To learn more about URIPALS, and for tips on keeping the entire family safe in domestic violence situations, please visit www.urinyc.org. For help from one of OCDV’s New York City Family Justice Centers, visit www.nyc.gov/domesticviolence or call the city’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-4673 or dial 311.
Want to stay up-to-date on the latest ASPCA news?
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter, ASPCA News Alert - you'll receive important updates on what's going on and how you can make an impact to save animals' lives!