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Sometimes you aren’t able to keep people and their pets in their current home…but you’re able to keep them together.

That’s the motivation behind a new partnership between the Connecticut Humane Society and the CT Coalition to End Homelessness. CCEH has received a PetSmart Charities grant to assist people who are on the verge of losing or have already lost their housing and struggle to find new housing due to having a pet, and CHS is one of multiple partners available to provide support services. The goal is to keep more pets with the people they love and out of shelters.

When a pet owner is having financial difficulty, these can all be barriers to housing: an extra deposit for an apartment due to having a pet, a landlord requirement for a pet to be spayed/neutered and/or vaccinated, or documentation for a certified service or emotional support animal. Or, a pet may need to be boarded temporarily while an owner is getting back on their feet.

But this new partnership will be part of the solution. CHS helped CCEH develop the program.

CHS may assist by providing veterinary care and temporary boarding if space is available to pets in the program. Or, when pet owners contact CHS to rehome a pet due to housing difficulties, CHS will work with CCEH so the pet is not a barrier to finding housing for the whole family.

“People often feel they have no choice but to give up their pet when they lose their home or they’re moving and can’t afford to meet the requirements of bringing their pet with them. It’s heartbreaking,” CHS Executive Director James Bias said. “CHS is always looking for new ways to help pets keep their families when they’re going through a difficult time, and we’re so grateful to partner with CCEH to do more of that, especially when families are facing many more challenges this year.”

Families frequently rely on their pets for comfort. Sometimes, a long-time pet is the one constant in their lives.

“At CCEH, we believe every member of a family has a fundamental right to housing, and that includes animals. We know that people in a housing crisis often have to make a very difficult choice to abandon their pet or find a place to live, and no one should have to make that choice,” said Ryan Beach, development and marketing manager and Pets Program lead at CCEH. “We are thrilled to partner with CHS to build a system to remove barriers so that people and their pets stay where they belong: safe in their homes.”

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