AHS receives PetSmart Charities® grant to fund temporary pet housing program

PetSmart Charities

Animal Humane Society received a $125,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to help keep more pets in loving homes and out of shelters in the Twin Cities.

As the face of family changes, the role pets play in our lives remains constant. Many people consider pets to be important members of the family. It can be challenging to find resources when facing life crises including homelessness, lack of pet-friendly housing, military deployment, or fleeing domestic violence in search of a safe-haven. Pet parents in these and other at-risk situations often determine they have no options beyond surrendering their beloved pet to a local shelter.

With this grant, Animal Humane Society will help preserve the bond between pets and their people by supporting people facing housing displacement with safe haven and care for their pets. Pets receive up to 60 days of free housing and preventative care including sterilizations and vaccines, and their families get regular updates on their pet’s health and wellness.

Due to the level of interest in this pilot program, we are only accepting referrals from social service agencies in Dakota County and Washington County at this time. People seeking temporary care for their pets must already be enrolled in housing support programs to be considered for referral.

“We know that one of the reasons animals are surrendered to us is because their family lost their housing. Our temporary pet housing program gives families the opportunity to stay together,” said Janelle Dixon, President and CEO of Animal Humane Society. “We’re committed to keeping people and pets together because pets are family. Their unconditional love lifts us up, and they bring joy to everyday life, comfort in crisis, and strength in the face of adversity.”

“We continue to discover evidence that pets make a profound impact on the health and well-being of their people,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “When a crisis strikes — or if a family needs help caring for their pet for a brief period during a recovery or re-adjustment — we’re thankful partners such as Animal Humane Society are there to lend a hand. Pets can no longer be seen as an after-thought to the needs of the people they love. That critical relationship is key to sustaining their quality of life.”

When possible, pets are housed with AHS foster volunteers. Alternatively, if a client has secured housing for their pet with a friend or family member, AHS can provide resources, like pet food, litter, or other supplies, to support the pet’s temporary caretaker.


Contact the Pet Helpline at 952-HELP-PET (952-435-7738) or send us a message now.

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