Being in the line of work of helping victims of domestic violence with their pets when they are escaping abuse and need temporary accommodations for their pets, I am well aware of the problems that temporarily homeless and evicted individuals with pets face. We receive many calls to our crisis line with requests for services from individuals that are not experiencing intimate partner violence but rather temporary homelessness. Unfortunately, our grant funding restricts us from being able to assist these individuals. Late in November of 2018, I received a call from Debra Berger with the Humane Society of the United States. She was trying to help someone who was facing eviction, with nowhere for his pets to go. We discussed the lack of resources in this area. She had also spoken with Sarah Rosenberg with Lifeline, and decided that we should gather individuals in the animal welfare community and start a dialogue of how to address this issue.
Call it kismet, or maybe just a true testament of the great need for this work, but one week later I received a call from Cole Thaler, a tenants’ rights attorney who, through his work helping individuals facing eviction, was also seeing the incredible need for temporary resources for their pets. A week later, in December 2018, we all joined on a call together, and so began the work of forming Paws Between Homes.