First Dog Park In Domestic Violence Shelter #BetterWithPets

Purina Helps Create First Dog Park In Domestic Violence Shelter

First Dog Park In Domestic Violence Shelter

Nestlé Purina PetCare hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate New York City’s first-ever dog park in a domestic violence shelter, called the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park. The event marks the official expansion of URIPALS — People and Animals Living Safely — which launched in June 2013 as a pilot program to enable domestic violence survivors to enter shelter with their cats and other small animals. With the opening of the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park, URI will now be able to open its doors to families with dogs.

Research shows that domestic violence often involves abuse or threatened abuse of all members of the household – including pets. When Domestic Violence victims finally decide to leave they are faced with an agonizing decision. Shelters will take women and children but often do not accepts pets which leave women and children to make an agonizing decision. Stay where they are and continue to be subject to abuse or find a place they can go to that has a place for their pets too. Unfortunately, many shelters do not have the means to house companion animals even if they want to and even though they know it would help get even more victims out of harms way. Victims will not leave their pets behind because of the threatened abuse or past abuse their partner has shown towards the pets.

With so few places accepting any pets even small ones it is truly incredible that the NYC Urban Resource Institute has partnered with Purina and have built a truly dog friendly Domestic Violence Shelter complete with a dog park where victims and their dogs can play together and rebuild their lives.

Studies show that as many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind, and more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelter report that the abuser has threatened, injured, or killed family pets. Among New York City’s 50 domestic violence shelters, URI is the only one that accommodates pets, filling a critical gap by addressing the unique challenges families with pets face.

With the help of GEPPAUL ARCHITECTS they were able to transform an alleyway into a safe place for Domestic Violence Victims and their dogs to play. What was once dark and empty has now been transformed into a living place that will benefit the community and be a place to get their lives back on track with their entire family. By creating the very first Dog Park in Domestic Violence Shelters Purina is helping to keep families together and promoting the #BetterWithPets Initiative they launched in NYC in November.

To learn more about URIPALS and for tips on keeping the entire family safe in domestic violence situations, please visit

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  1. What an awesome thing to have available for domestic abuse survivors. Dogs are certain to make them feel very special and loved! This should spread to all cities. Bark More, Growl Less Barking from the Bayou!
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  1. […] this year we shared the story about the First Dog Park In a Domestic Violence Shelter. I never thought that I would get to learn more about the project, meet one of its graduates,and […]

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