A thank you to my dog Rae – for helping me to go outside again

I’ve been told that when I was a baby I would crawl to anything with four-legs and fur.  I don’t have many memories from my childhood. I struggle to recall pretty much all of it but of the memories I can recall my dogs are be my side.   Growing up I had two Siberian Huskies – Munchkin and Nala. We got Munchkin when I was 7 years old. Nala joined the family 8 years later. Things got really bad at home during Munchkin’s first year with us. My mother and father started the process of divorce that year. I am now 33 years old and the divorce is still not final. To say it was contentious is an understatement. My household was hectic, scary, and fraught with incidences of verbal abuse, physical abuse and … Read More

Purina instrumental in helping establish PALS Place, a Domestic Violence Shelter that Fosters the Whole Family, Pets Included

Pets are a member of the family and taking care of and loving them can be a real driving force. No surprisingly then, pets can often be a contributing factor to why people in domestic violence situations stay. In 71% of cases reported survivors stated that their abusers threatened, harmed or killed their pets according to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Given this harsh reality, sadly only 3% of domestic violence shelters welcome pets along with survivors. This unfortunately leaves survivors who are already in high stakes situations with another difficult choice, to leave their pet or stay in abuse.  Purina recognized this critical need and partnered with the Urban Resource Institute to create the People and Animals Living Safely Place (PALS), a seven-story pet friendly domestic violence shelter in Brooklyn, NY.  It … Read More

PetsEmpower attends #Inbound2018

PetsEmpower attended HubSpot’s #Inbound2018 conference in Boston. I learned about online marketing and how to provide value to our website visitors.  I have a few initiatives in the works in terms of providing survivors, veterinarians, academics, and allies with resources through newsletter sign ups.  I’m excited about providing useful and thoughtful content to our allies.  I look forward to developing a hub of information and advocacy regarding keeping pets and people together though domestic violence.  Thanks for building this community with me! Gratefully, Jordan CEO PetsEmpower

PawSox honor PetsEmpower

The Pawtucket Red Sox honored PetsEmpower with recognition though their “Pups in the Park” Program Sunday September 2.  It’s humbling to be honored for our impact across Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Thanks to you for building this community with us and keeping pets and people together escaping domestic violence. On a personal note, it was a wonderful experience being on the field of a professional team.  Growing up I played baseball all summer and I admired the skill of the players.  And it was even sweeter having my yellow lab Kariya on the pitcher’s mound with me right by my side.  Pets really do empower is so many ways!  Thanks again PawSox! Jordan Ross CEO PetsEmpower

The Link between Animal Abuse and Elder Abuse

By PHIL ARKOW Coordinator, the National Link Coalition www.NationalLinkCoalition.org  ●   arkowpets@snip.net   ●  856-627-5118   Research into the human-animal bond confirms that pets can enhance the emotional and physical health of seniors, both in a therapeutic context and particularly in daily living. Pets can provide companionship, emotional support, daily exercise, a sense of purpose, security, and opportunities for staying social. Service animals can assist seniors who have hearing, visual or physical disabilities. Acquiring a pet can, under the right conditions, improve aging in place; where this is not feasible, animal-assisted therapy programs can bring visiting animals to seniors in long-term care, assisted living, memory units, adult day care, and other facilities.   But there is, unfortunately, also a “dark side” of the human-animal bond in which animals become the victims of cruelty, abuse and neglect when … Read More

It’s Catching on: Co-Housing Pets and People Experiencing Domestic Violence

By Allie Phillips, Esq. Attorney, Founder & CEO of Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T)™, a global initiative working with domestic violence shelters to create on-site pet housing. Just a decade ago, in 2008, housing pets with their families in a domestic violence shelter was unheard of. About ten years before that when I came up with the SAF-T housing concept as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, a shelter laughed at me when I asked for housing for a woman, her 2 dogs and a goat. That laugh and the denial of shelter for this woman, who walked hand-in-hand out of the courtroom with her abuser, resulted in what I call “the download” of the SAF-T Program into my brain. When I wrote the first guidelines for domestic violence shelters to house pets in 2008, I … Read More

PetsEmpower’s origin-Jordan and his lab Jazz escape domestic violence

PetsEmpower is a non-profit that helps people in crisis find temporary foster homes for their pets. Just like many of the best organizations, PetsEmpower was created after a true story endured by its founder, Jordan Ross.  After graduating from college Jordan seldom knew his future would hold far more than celebrations. Soon enough, Jordan found himself homeless with his black lab Jazz in the streets of Boston after escaping a violent household.  His parents had taken on a string of threats and abuse towards not just Jordan but his loyal companion Jazz as well.   Jordan knew he had to get Jazz and himself out of there however, domestic violence shelters did not allow pets. Jordan was terrified if he gave Jazz up to a foster or shelter he would never see his best friend … Read More

Schuyler’s PetsEmpower reflection

The day I was born, my parents already owned two dogs. One of the hardest parts of college was, for the first time, not living with pets. I did get to know the regular therapy dogs that came to MIT on a monthly basis, as well as some professors & the dogs they brought to work with them, and some cats that lived in some suites of my dormitory. My parents sent me dog pictures frequently, especially during more stressful periods, like midterm or final exam seasons. I’m an avid mental health advocate, and in college, worked with others to promote good mental health care and awareness. I worked with peers as directing MedLink (peer health contact & educator) of my dorm and was a member of the MindHandHealth Mental Health & Substance Abuse Advisory … Read More

Connecticut’s First Pet-Friendly Domestic Abuse Shelter

New London’s Safe Futures leads the way for state   Connecticut now has its first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter.  Safe Futures, which services all of New London County, offers emergency and transitional housing for victims of domestic violence, as well as two 24-hour hotlines, advocacy programs, support groups, and community education and awareness.  So far, Safe Futures is the only member of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence that allows survivors seeking shelter to bring with them their pets.   Though the program is still new, Safe Futures has already seen promising trends.  Anecdotally, staff have found that survivors are staying at the shelter longer and are less likely to return to their abusers.  It is difficult to say whether this is because of the emotional support offered by the pets or because survivors are … Read More

Business Form Coalition to Pass PAWS Act

Pet And Women’s Safety act seeks to help survivors of domestic abuse and their pets stay safe together Several prominent nonprofit and for-profit organizations involved in the pet industry have joined together to promote the passage of the Pet and Women’s Safety (PAWS) Act of 2017.  The bill is touted as the first piece of federal legislation designed to protect pets of domestic violence survivors.  The goal of the PAWS Act is to foster understanding of the link between different forms of intimate partner abuse and animal cruelty, and to protect survivors of both forms of violence.   The PAWS Act was reintroduced for the current term in 2017 after earlier versions of the bill failed to pass in 2015 and 2014.  Congress has yet to hold an official vote on the PAWS Act of … Read More