Our inaugural Co-Sheltering Collaborative open house took place in Gainesville, Florida on August 5, co-hosted by GRACE Marketplace and generously sponsored by Maddie’s Fund®, #ThanksToMaddie and PetSmart Charities. Those in attendance had the opportunity to tour the GRACE Marketplace facilities, learn about policies and procedures from GRACE employees, listen to the stories of a GRACE guest with a companion animal, and meet like-minded co-sheltering advocates.
We are actively planning our next open house, so stay tuned for more details! To join the Co-Sheltering Collaborative, sign up for our e-mail list at the link below or send any questions to Collaborative@mydogismyhome.org.
Program Spotlight: Retraining the Village
Working as a medical technologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Halley Crumb witnessed firsthand the traumas, addictions, and stress the veterans experienced and felt called to start Retraining the Village. RTV serves as a bridge between homelessness and permanent housing in the San Francisco Bay Area for veterans, the homeless, formerly incarcerated individuals, and their families.
Halley herself has been in recovery for 25 years. Thanks to life with her dog Princess, she understands how meaningful the unconditional love of a companion animal family member can be. The Back to Basics program at Retraining the Village is a pet-friendly residential peer recovery program for individuals with an opioid use disorder (OUD), or a stimulant use disorder.
Halley has created a special video tour of the pet-inclusive housing at Retraining the Village, which you may find below. If you’d like to connect with Halley, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ Grant Application Deadline Extended to September 9!
Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program is offering grants to cities working to be pet friendly and keep people and pets together. Five grants of $20,000 are available to cities or their designated NGO/non-profit partner. To be eligible for a grant, cities must have completed the City Assessment that is part of the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ city certification program. More information at the link below.
APA-HAI Webinar: “Homelessness and Animal Companionship”
On Wednesday, September 14, My Dog Is My Home Founder Christine Kim, Board Member Dorit Dowler-Guerrero, and Janet Hoy-Gerlach will be presenting the free “Homelessness and Animal Companionship” webinar, hosted by the Human-Animal Interaction group of the American Psychological Association.
People experiencing homelessness with companion animals are highly attached to their animals and describe them as a stable source of companionship, unconditional love, safety, motivation to reduce substance use, and even to continue living. This 75-minute webinar will describe the qualities of the bond between people experiencing homelessness and their animals, service gaps, the role of the mental health clinician, and policy and program changes that can increase access to services for this population.
Register today at the link below!
Partnership Opportunity: Street Dog Coalition
In collaboration with the AVMA Convention at the end of July, The Street Dog Coalition (SDC) partnered with Merck Animal Health and Hill’s Pet Nutrition to provide a free veterinary street clinic for pets of people experiencing housing insecurity in Philadelphia. Along with health checks and basic care for pets, each owner was provided dog food, treats, leashes, water/food bowls, hygiene kits, refreshments from Rowhome Coffee and more.
SDC has teams in over fifty cities across the U.S. and their Philadelphia team is led by Dr. Alison Whiter and Dr. Bridget Hanley. My Dog Is My Home assisted in their local outreach efforts, connecting them with people and organizations who could help spread the word and offer additional resources. If you’re interested in learning more about how SDC cares for the lives on both ends of the leash, visit their website: www.thestreetdogcoalition.org.
Research Spotlight: “Pet Friendly for Whom?: An Analysis of Pet Fees in Texas Rental Housing”
While previous studies have underscored the difficulty low-income pet owners often face when attempting to secure affordable rental housing, “Pet Friendly for Whom?” focuses on the fees pet owners in “pet-friendly” rental housing are charged on top of monthly rent.
In summary, the researchers found that less expensive pet-friendly listings were more likely to have pet fees charged on top of rent than rental units that were more expensive. Additionally, low-income communities and communities of color were more likely than higher income and predominantly White communities to pay disproportionately higher fees to keep pets in their homes. The burden of pet rental fees may contribute to both housing insecurity and companion animal relinquishment. Read more about these findings, as well as the researchers’ recommendations for policy and practice, at the link below.
August Fundraiser Benefits Lil BUB’s Big Fund, My Dog Is My Home, and CARE
A recent fundraiser dedicated to honoring and preserving the human-animal bond raised $2,500 for My Dog Is My Home! We are profoundly grateful to all the donors, to Lil BUB’s Big Fund for organizing the event and highlighting our work, and to our friends at CARE. We are deeply grateful to Lil BUB herself and the legacy of compassion for animals and their people that she’s inspired.
Watch a fundraiser-related interview with MDIMH Founder Christine Kim at the link below!