A second women’s shelter in Harlem is offering safe haven for the dogs and cats of families torn apart by domestic violence.
The Urban Women’s New Beginnings shelter on Wednesday opened an area where residence can play with their pets as part of the People and Animals Living Safely program sponsored by the nonprofit Urban Resource Institute.
The program is the only one in the city that allows survivors of domestic violence to live in shelter apartments with their pets, institute officials said.
The play area was created in conjunction with Nestle Purina PetCare.
“We know that the lives of many survivors—human and pet alike—will be improved because of this amazing space,” said Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of URI.
The new Purina Pet Haven at Urban Women’s New Beginnings is the third pet space built by URI at a shelter. The first pet space was constructed in 2014 at a shelter in Brooklyn and a second opened last October at a shelter in Harlem. They are the only pet parks in domestic violence shelters in the city.
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The URI provides a variety of services to domestic violence victims, homeless individuals and families and other at-risk people.