New initiative shelters victims of domestic violence with their pets

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 1.12.33 PM
This cat has been living at URI’s largest emergency shelter with its owner for the past several months as part of the URIPALS program. (Credit: Jordan H. Star)

Survivors of domestic violence in New York City now have a refuge that also welcomes their pets.

The program, URIPALS, is the result of a joint effort by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Urban Resource Institute. URI first launched the program in June 2013 and the ASPCA announced on Thursday it would support the program with a $75,000 grant. The money will fund the hiring of a coordinator who will provide services to people and animals sheltering in URI’s largest facility.

Since the pilot’s launch, more than a dozen cats and other small pets have been housed at the shelter, where apartments have been modified to accommodate them. The program is expanding to accept dogs.

“There are so many layers in domestic violence situations, and every member of the family is affected — including pets, who are often targeted as a way to threaten or control victims — which is why we are so grateful for the ASPCA’s partnership in helping people and pets escape violence together,” URI President Nathaniel Fields said in a statement.

Stacy Wolf, the Senior Vice President of ASPCA’s Anti Cruelty Group, said the program was a needed lifeline for some people who might be reluctant to leave their abusive situations if it meant leaving their pets behind.

“The notion of having to make that choice is not even conceivable to me,” Wolf said. “Making those hard choices in such difficult circumstances is not something anyone should ever have to face.”

The ASPCA will also make its Animal Hospital available to URIPALS as a resource.

Individuals who need help or are a witness to abuse are urged to call URI’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 888-279-2211or 888-252-2890 or visit www.urinyc.org.

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…