Bark Worthy

Purina Opens Up Manhattan’s First Ever Dog Park in a Domestic Violence Shelter #PurinaPartner

Written by Rachel Phelps

Violence is a serious issue for us dogs because humans sometimes like to hurt us animals. Mom explained to me that many times people get hurt as well in domestic abuse situations. When that happens, many times the abuse victims have no where to go to get away from their abuser because it is often a relative, husband, or boyfriend that they live with. The victims have to flee and many times end up in a domestic violence shelter.

The first question I asked Mom was, “What if they have pets? Where do they go?” She told me that is a huge problem because most shelters don’t allow pets. If the victim leaves their pet behind, the person who is abusing them may start hurting the pet because they are mad that the person left. This fear causes many victims to stay because they love their pets so much and don’t want them to get hurt.

There is now an amazing shelter in Manhattan called the Urban Resource institute (URI) that allows us dogs and cats to come with our families to safety. Their program, located in the Urban Women’s Retreat (UWR), is a Tier 1 emergency shelter that is part of the URIPALS (People and Animals Living Safety). To date, URIPALS has helped 43 families with 63 pets. This has included 38 cats, 18 dogs, and many smaller critters that have escaped domestic violence. How awesome is that?

sheter2My Pals at Purina wanted to help this innovative program and decided that these pets needed a dog park to play in while they are staying at the UWR. Purina funded the design and construction of the dog park and it opened up a few weeks ago on October 13th.

Purina also makes sure the pets are welcomed with open paws when they arrive with their families. I can only imagine how scary it can be to have to leave your home. Purina provides welcome kits to all the pets that includes a pet travel carrier, safety gates, pet beds, pet feeding and water bowl, scratching posts for the cats, leashes, and even new toys! The pups get bags of Purina ONE brand dog food, the cats get Cat Chow brand dog food and litter. Everyone gets treats!

Personally, I am so impressed with this innovative program that helps the whole family (even four legged ones) escape domestic abuse. Thanks Purina for helping the Urban Women’s Retreat in Manhattan!

sheter1To learn more about URIPALS and for tips on keeping the entire family safe in domestic violence situations, please visit

Your Pal,





Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Purina but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the author

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps, “America’s Pet Parent,” is an award-winning writer, photographer, and certified dog trainer. She keeps busy managing the career of her Internet celebrity dog Preston from Preston Speaks. Her three Westies — who think they are mini-humans — and three cats rule the house. To learn more about Rachel go to: Rachel Phelps Website

Leave a Comment