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 Akron today. PetSmart Promise, a collaboration between PetSmart and Family Promise, has provided a new dog and cat kennel facility at the Family Promise of Summit County 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.
“PetSmart is pleased to be able to work together with Family Promise of Summit County to bring this unique program to Akron,” said Jim Morris, regional vice president 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.”
Morris was joined by Jeff Wilhite, the executive director of Family Promise of Summit County, and other VIPs, including Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Summit County Executive, Russell Pry, 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. The day center, which recently opened in a new location, is also working with a nearby nonprofit that assists homeless military veterans to house their pets as well.
“Our new facility means that families who are facing homelessness don’t have to make the heartbreaking decision to stay in a shelter and give up their beloved pet or live on the street to keep the family together,” said Wilhite. “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.”