Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence

Conference Announces First Shelter Specifically Built for Co-Living


“Coco has that innocence and light and excitement when you come home, so you don’t have to think about the trauma going on in your life. In order for the healing process to begin, all of us needed to be settled.”

Artist’s rendering of a pet-friendly co-living apartment. (URIPALS photo)


With these emotional words describing the importance of co-sheltering pets with women and children fleeing domestic violence, survivor Hope Dawson, accompanied by her dog, “Coco,” helped the Urban Resource Institute’s People and Animals Living Safely program (URIPALS) formally announce what will be the nation’s first domestic violence shelter built specifically to accommodate both people and their pets.

The announcement was made at a formal conference Artist’s rendering of a pet-friendly co-living apartment in New York, where a live audience of some 100 thought leaders – plus an online Facebook stream with over 7,600 viewers – learned about the new shelter, being constructed in Brooklyn with an anticipated opening this Fall. The new facility, called PALS Place, is being supported in part by Purina, which hopes to develop this as a model co-living facility that can be replicated in other cities nationally.

A panel of national and local authorities led a lively 2-½ hour discussion about “Protecting the Hidden Victim,” how The Link impacts pets experiencing domestic violence. URIPALS has retrofitted four of its shelters in New York to accommodate pets, with a fifth shelter being retrofitted later this year, but PALS Place will be the first such site where each apartment unit will be specifically built for co-living.

Several executives from Purina were on hand to explain their support for the program. “We believe that pets and people are better together, and that people are better with pets,” said Kurt Venator, DVM, Ph.D., Purina’s Chief Veterinary Officer. “PALS Place will be a place where all members of the family can heal together for a smoother transition and recovery.”

Article was originally published in The LINK-Letter Vol. 11, No. 6 June 2018 from the National Link Coalition.

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