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Urban Resource Institute and Purina Unveil the Purina Play Haven

Urban Resource Institute (URI) opened  New York City’s first-ever dog park in a domestic violence shelter, called the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park. The event marked the official expansion of URIPALS—People and Animals Living Safely—which launched in June 2013 as a pilot program to enable domestic violence survivors to enter shelter with their cats and other small animals. With the opening of the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park, URI will now be able to open its doors to families with dogs.

Sponsored by Purina, which contributed funds for the design and construction of the dog park, the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park will give families at URI’s largest emergency shelter in New York City a safe and calming retreat in which to heal together. The unique dog park features a ramp, tunnel, bridge and platform for dogs to play and exercise, as well as overhead trellises to ensure the privacy and security of shelter residents.

 People and Animals Living Safely

Studies show that as many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind, and more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelter report that the abuser has threatened, injured, or killed family pets.* Among New York City’s 50 domestic violence shelters, URI is the only one that accommodates pets, filling a critical gap by addressing the unique challenges families with pets face.

URI and Purina’s collaboration in support of URIPALS brings together one of New York City’s largest domestic violence service providers and a leader in the pet care industry around the closely linked issues of animal abuse and domestic violence. United by the belief that people and pets are better together, URI and Purina are helping reduce barriers to safety for families with pets in domestic violence situations, and hope to continue raising awareness about the impact of abuse on the whole family, including pets.


 Purina Play Haven and Dog Park

URIPALS  Awareness Tips

Develop a safety plan for the whole family, including your pet(s).

  • Pet-care plan: Identify in advance friends or family who can help care for your pet(s).
  • Animal ownership documents: Keep registration records, vet records, a microchip, and/or a current photo to prove ownership of your pets.
  • Legal protection: Include pets on orders of protection. Give a copy of any legal documents to a t rusted friend or family member.
  • Safety supplies: Pack an emergency bag and keep it hidden, but easily accessible.  Make sure to include food, supplies, and records for pets in the emergency bag.

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  1. This is wonderful. The dog park is beautiful. I am glad they can take their pets there too.

    Sue B