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PetSmart has announced the addition of five new locations to its national program assisting temporarily homeless families to keep their animal companions with them. Now in its second year, the PetSmart Promise program builds cat and dog kennel facilities in Family Promise day centers catering to temporarily homeless families across the United States.

PetSmart, in partnership with Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, established the pilot program in 2012. Over the next year the program expanded nationwide and opened facilities in Bozeman, Mont. and Fayetteville, N.C.. To accommodate families who’s cats and dogs can’t be housed on-site PetSmart has made available complimentary boarding space in existing PetSmart PetsHotels in Houston, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.. PetSmart’s goal is to open five new facilities each year.

David Lenhardt, Chief Executive Officer at PetSmart said;

“Following the hugely successful first year of the PetSmart Promise program, I’m excited to announce the official launch of the second year and these five new on-site locations. Family homelessness continues to be a large problem in America, and we’re honored to be entering into the second year of our partnership with Family Promise so we can keep even more families and their pets together while they get back on their feet.”

Family Promise is a national non-profit based in Summit, New Jersey dedicated to helping homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence. Its 182 affiliates in 41 states provide food, shelter and support to temporarily homeless families. The average family stay in the program is nine weeks. Most homeless shelters do not allow animals but with the PetSmart partnership, a solution has been found to the heartbreaking decision many homeless families have to make.

Karen Olson, President of Family Promise said;

“After taking the program nationwide in 2013, we’re pleased to be working together with PetSmart to expand the number of on-site kennel services we can offer our families in transition. By working together, we can help temporarily homeless families stay together and get back on their feet. We’ve seen time and time again how important it is to these families – especially the children – to be able to stay with their pets during their time of homelessness.”

Based on individual needs and limitations PetSmart Promise also offers families staying at Family Promise facilities a foster network of Family Promise employees and volunteers. They will house pets when a Family Promise pet housing facility or PetSmart PetsHotel is not available.

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