On October 1, 2012, at 3 p.m., a rope-cutting ceremony, complete with adorable pets, will take place at Family Promise for Pets, Arizona’s first emergency shelter for homeless families with pets. Countless pets are surrendered when their families fall on hard times and lose their homes. Homeless shelters have only offered space to people and not their pets– until now. PetSmart donated more than $33,000 to Family Promise of Greater Phoenix to create a pet area called Family Promise for Pets, complete with yards, crates and kennels as well as free food, spay/neuter services and vaccinations for pets of all kinds.

Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, a local not for profit organization that helps homeless families get back on their feet, has teamed up with Phoenix-based PetSmart Inc. to create Family Promise for Pets, located at, 7221 E. Belleview Street in Scottsdale. Karen Olsen, founder of Family Promise national organization, will be present to see this new program open it’s doors. Also the Mayor of Scottsdale W.J. “Jim” Lane, local PetSmart and Family Promise representatives will be on-hand at the Family Promise for Pets location to kickoff this exciting project.

Ted Taylor, director of Family Promise, said, ”We couldn’t have done this without PetSmart. Not only have they donated funds to get this project off the ground, they have volunteered their time to get this first emergency homeless shelter pet-ready.” He added, “This is exciting because it is the first of its kind in Arizona that allows our homeless families the option to keep their pets close to them while they work to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.”

Family Promise for Pets anticipates serving 25 families with pets within the next 12 months, and their goal is to achieve a seventy percent success rate of graduating families into sustainable housing with their pets.

Offering pets a home so that they are not separated from their families helps ease the stress of all family members during their housing crises and decreases the number of pets potentially surrendered to already capacity-challenged animal shelters. Keeping their pet eliminates one significant disruption from the family’s rapidly changing lives and relieves the sense of abandonment of their beloved pets.

“This is not only an important day for PetSmart and Family Promise — it is a great milestone for our community as a whole,” said Joe O’Leary, PetSmart’s Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Supply Chain and Marketing. “Thanks to the amazing and truly innovative work of Family Promise, families with pets finally have somewhere to turn. It is a really proud day for all of us at PetSmart.”