A program called PetSmart Promise, was recently started at the PetSmart on Venture Drive at Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. The store will house up to eight Family Promise pets at a time while families are in the program.
PetSmart in Duluth and Family Promise of Gwinnett County have joined forces for a national pilot program to help temporarily homeless families keep the four-legged members of their family.
A launch of the program, called PetSmart Promise, was recently started at the PetSmart on Venture Drive at Pleasant Hill Road, which has a pet boarding facility called PetsHotels. The store will house up to eight Family Promise pets at a time while families are in the program.
“In the past, we’ve not been able to help families with pets,” said Chuck Ferraro, Network Director of Family Promise in Gwinnett. “And we’ve had families that would stay in their cars and declined our program rather than give up their pets.
“PetSmart gives us the opportunities to help more families keep their pets who they treat like family members,” he added. “We look forward to a great future with PetSmart.”
Family Promise networks in Hall County, Cobb County and north Fulton/north DeKalb counties will also be able to participate with the Duluth pet store. The Atlanta area entities are among six cities nationwide where the pet store chain will help Family Promise aid displaced families with pets. Other cities in the pilot program are in Houston, TX; Charlotte, NC; Boston, MA; Albuquerque, NM; and Colorado Springs, CO.
“PetSmart Promise will ensure that families don’t have to give up their beloved pets just because they find themselves temporarily homeless,” Joe O’Leary, Chief Operating Officer for PetSmart, said in a press release. “By involving PetSmart PetsHotels in this program, we hope to keep even more families together and provide some kind of stability to those in a difficult situation.”
PetSmart will house dogs and cats and Banfield Pet Hospital will provide free veterinarian consultations and preventative care services. Banfield veterinarians will administer a wellness checkup, key vaccines, heartworm preventative and parasite control. The canines will also have access to a Doggie Day Camp where they can play and exercise with other dogs and receive a nail trim and bath before they leave.
Family Promise of Gwinnett, based in Lawrenceville, is a nine-year-old coalition of 37 churches, social service organizations and professional services that help displaced families with temporary lodging, transportation and employment. The group has helped 205 families with more than 500 people including more than 100 children. Applicant families are carefully screened and the Lawrenceville network has recorded an 85 percent success rate in relocations. They are expanding into outlying areas of the county, recruiting new group members, seeking transitional housing and creating more partnerships like the one with PetSmart.
“Anything we can do to help families, especially those with young children, transition through their period of homelessness is a good thing and the PetSmart programs help us do just that,” Karen Olsen, president of Family Promise, said in a press release. “The expansion of the PetSmart PetsHotels program means that more families will be able to participate.”