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Community Engagement Program

Animal Haven assists hundreds of pet guardians each year at risk of losing their animals due to unexpected crises including domestic violence, housing emergencies, and illness.

Simply having a pet can be a significant barrier when facing emergencies.

We strive to provide direct services, pet retention support, advocacy, and policy development so that pet owners don’t have to choose between their animals and accessing help and safety.

We're here to help.

Animal Haven is one of only a few animal shelters in the country with a licensed social worker on staff, allowing us to manage challenging and often sensitive cases with compassion and humanity.

Since 2020, our Community Engagement Program has found success for over 400 families thanks to the unique combination of social work and animal welfare support that helps to preserve the person-pet relationships during difficult times.

We're here to help you!

Populations served include families and their animals that are being displaced or need extra assistance due to:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Pending Hospitalization for either Physical or Mental Health
  • Extreme Hoarding
  • Homelessness
  • Emergencies, like Fire and Flood

Animal Haven cannot provide hands-on assistance with situations outside of those listed above. Our social worker will assess requests on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they fall within the scope of our program.

The Preserving Families Collaboration

In partnership with PAWS NY and Search and Care and supported by a three-year grant from PetSmart Charities, The Preserving Families in Times of Crisis program supports older adults and other vulnerable populations by helping them prepare for emergencies with their pets and providing emergency and foster care for pets while their guardians recover and are ultimately reunited.

The program helps by:

  • Assisting healthcare, social, and human service organizations to:
    • Add pet information to intake forms (ie “Are there pets at home? Is
      there an emergency contact?”)
    • Work with a client to identify and create an emergency contact plan for
      their pet(s), and provide supporting documents.
    • Incorporate pet-related information when making in-home
  • Coaching individuals on all the aspects of pet emergency planning.
  • When guidelines are met, provide temporary fostering and/or shelter for a pet during a guardian’s hospitalization.
  • Connecting pet guardians to resources in the community for ongoing
    assistance and follow up care.

Reach out for support

Our licensed social worker is a readily accessible, knowledgeable, and compassionate resource skilled at responding to individuals or families seeking assistance that have been denied support simply because of the presence of their animals.

You are not alone, we're here to help.