JUNE 2021PetSmart Charities recently awarded LACASA Center a $17,500 Preserving Families Grant to help fund the nonprofit’s “Safe Pet Place,” which houses the family pets of abuse victims who live in its Crisis Shelter.

Abusers commonly threaten the lives of family pets as a way of manipulating victims and preventing them from leaving a violent household. LACASA was the first agency of its kind in Michigan to welcome the pets of abuse victims at its residential shelter.

“We greatly appreciate this generous grant from PetSmart Charities,” said Bobette Schrandt, president & CEO of LACASA. “The funding will help us preserve the bond between abuse victims and their pets, which is critical for victims and their children.”

LACASA’s Safe Pet Place has two on-site facilities that house pets according to their species, size and how they interact with other animals. In addition, some residential rooms have been allergy-proofed and easily accommodate the family pet. An exterior dog run provides a place for dogs to play with their people in a safe environment.

“Our Safe Pet Place accommodates all family pets, keeping them safe from harm by abusers who may exert control and trigger fear among victims who reach out to us for emergency shelter,” Schrandt said. “Keeping pets together with their families is critical to healing from trauma associated with interpersonal violence. It’s strongly tied to our mission of compassion and service.”

The Preserving Families Grant will be utilized in part to provide free pet shelter, food, bedding, play toys, veterinary services, medications, and essential pet care supplies.

“Pets are invaluable members of the family and are often the reason that survivors delay leaving their abusers,” said Kelly Balthazor, community grants manager at PetSmart Charities. “As an organization, that acknowledges the support that pets provide in times of crisis, we’re proud to partner with LACASA to fund programs help keep pets with the people who love them.”

From 2019-2020, LACASA provided nearly 2,000 nights of Safe Pet Place shelter for a variety of pets—from cats and dogs to birds and tropical fish.

“LACASA has always been committed to welcoming family pets into our shelter,” said Schrandt. “But it is not without a financial cost, and the grant that PetSmart Charities has awarded us will go a long way to provide the proper care and medical treatment for victims’ pets.”

Since 1994, through its partnership with nearly 4,000 humane societies, SPCAs and pet rescues across North America, PetSmart Charities has helped more than 8.5 million pets to find loving homes via its in-store adoption program in over 1,600 PetSmart® stores. The leading funder of animal welfare has also donated nearly $400 million to improve access to veterinary care, to positively impact communities, to connect people and pets, and to help preserve families through initiatives like this one with LACASA.

About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores.  In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $450 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit petsmartcharities.org.