Thousands of pets in Maricopa County are in jeopardy.
As the eviction protections for renters continue to wane, many families are already facing housing instability. And as a result, families are being forced to make tough decisions to keep themselves afloat. According to multiple sources, some 2,000 to 5,000 pets will lose their families as a result of the anticipated housing crisis. Not only would this be stressful on the pets, but it would double Arizona shelters’ current animal intake.
This is why we started Project Home Away From Home, a foster program for pets whose owners are facing housing instability or other crises. The program is a critical part of the Pet Housing Help AZ Task Force, which we established with six other animal welfare organizations to support those facing eviction.
And today, we’re taking a big step forward in helping more families keep their beloved pets.
Keeping Pets and People Together with PetsHotel®
PetsHotel® is a boarding service for dogs and cats by PetSmart that features 24/7 safety-certified associates and an on-call veterinarian. All pets are given daily walks (for dogs) or playtime (for cats) with pet-loving staff.
Today, we’re so pleased to announce that the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) and PetSmart PetsHotel® are partnering as an extension of our Project Home Away From Home. When AHS’ foster homes reach capacity, PetSmart PetsHotels® will be there to provide temporary pet housing and care.
“As an organization dedicated to doing anything for pets, PetSmart is proud to partner with the Arizona Humane Society,” said Josh Patterson, director of PetSmart PetsHotel® & pet training services. “We know the pandemic has brought challenges for pet parents, so we’re happy to help support them during this difficult time.”
Mia and Billy (pictured above with PetSmart PetsHotel® Associate Audra) are two of the pets currently staying at a PetSmart PetsHotel®. They’ll receive care there until they are able to enter an AHS Foster Hero home or be reunited with their pet parents.
“We recognized early on that we can’t do this alone,” says Carrie Hughes, AHS Foster Manager, “We’re grateful for this innovative collaboration with PetSmart’s PetsHotel®, which allows us to be able to give pet owners peace of mind that their furry friends are being cared for in such difficult times.”
Project Home Away From Home
If you are a pet owner facing housing instability, unforeseen hospitalization, deployment or a domestic violence situation, you can apply to Project Home Away From Home. Those who qualify may enter the program for 60 to 90 days. For additional resources, be sure to visit PetHousingHelpAZ.org.
We’re also always looking for more pet lovers to become Foster Heroes! If you’re interested in opening your home to an owned (or homeless) pet, please apply at azhumane.org/foster. We’ll provide all of the supplies and training you need.