National Program Helps Homeless Shelter Provide Safe Space for Pets

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PetSmart and Family Promise of Montgomery Team Up On PetSmart Promise Program

A national program that helps temporarily homeless families keep all members of their family together – including their four-legged family members – celebrated its grand opening in Montgomery, Alabama today.

PetSmart Promise, a collaboration between PetSmart and Family Promise, has provided a new dog and cat kennel facility at the Family Promise of Montgomery day center for temporarily homeless families. These on-site kennels will provide pets in transition a safe, comforting place to call home while their families get back on the road to independent housing.

“With its strong sense of community, Montgomery was the ideal location to expand the PetSmart Promise program in partnership with the Family Promise of Montgomery,” said Jeff Edwards, regional director for PetSmart. “At PetSmart, we know the impact pets have on our lives, and being able to help a homeless family keep their pet during a time of transition is priceless for us. We look forward to continuing to roll out this program across the United States.”

Edwards was joined by Beth Ann Biggs, the director of Family Promise of Montgomery, at a ribbon cutting ceremony today. Family Promise’s facility is equipped with commercial grade kennels, which can house up to four dogs, and cat condos, which can house up to four cats at one time. A local PetSmart store provides the dogs with food and all the necessary accessories, while the families staying at the day center care for their pets on a daily basis.

“When PetSmart approached us about this very special project, we knew it would work well for our community and for the families we serve,” said Biggs. “By working together with PetSmart, we’re able to give these families hope in their time of transition. It’s a great example of members of the community working together to find a solution to a problem many may not even know exists.”

Montgomery is one of five PetSmart Promise on-site kennel facilities opening this year. A facility in Arkon, Ohio opened earlier this summer and others are planned for Cincinnati, Ohio; Mat-Su, Alaska; and Morristown, New Jersey. PetSmart first established a pilot program with Family Promise of Greater Phoenix in 2012 and will continue to expand for years to come until all 182 Family Promise day centers around the nation are able to participate.

In addition to the on-site facilities, PetSmart Promise will offer a menu of options for Family Promise facilities, based on individual needs and limitations. These options include:

  • PetSmart PetsHotels®: complimentary use of boarding space in existing PetSmart stores, for families utilizing nearby Family Promise centers. Six PetSmart PetsHotels are currently being tested as part of the PetSmart Promise program: Houston, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.;
  • Installation of fish tanks in Family Promise centers across the nation, teaching children and families utilizing the center about the care and responsibility required when owning a pet. 80 aquariums have been installed as part of the program over the past year; and
  • Creation of a foster network of Family Promise employees and volunteers to house pets when a Family Promise pet housing facility or PetSmart PetsHotel is not available.


Cotton the dog tests out a dog pen at Family Promise


A stuffed animal sits in one of the shelter’s cat condos


There is even a pet grooming station at the shelter!



To learn more about the PetSmart Promise options for Family Promise facilities, please visit:


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