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Valley partnership keeps families, pets together

PHOENIX — When families with find themselves without a place to live, some will choose the streets over a shelter that doesn’t allow pets.

“We’d offer them foster capability and they would refuse shelter,” said Ted Taylor of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix. “They would rather stay with their pet than come into our program and, by the way, that was true of all the emergency programs.”

That was the case until PetSmart partnered with Family Promise and transformed a two-bedroom unit at the Scottsdale shelter into a sanctuary for dogs and cats. It’s a place where Amy and her two kids can visit their 6-year-old dog Congo.

“I think if I had to get rid of my dog my kids would go through a depression,” she said. “The kids love him. They wouldn’t know what to do without him.”

Family Promise is able to hold eight dogs and eight cats. They also partnered with the Arizona Humane Society and offer wellness checks, spaying and neutering. Taylor said 100 percent of families that have been offered spaying and neutering services have accepted.

The PetSmart Promise program in Scottsdale has been so successful that the company plans to add three more facilities to Family Promise locations in other states this year. In a press release, PetSmart said its goal is to add five new facilities each year until all 182 Family Promise facilities have the opportunity to participate in the program.