Pet Co-Sheltering

Pets, a source of companionship and stability for many unsheltered people, are not allowed in NYC homeless shelters (unless certified as service or emotional support animals). Unsheltered pet owners must choose between their pet’s lives and safe shelter for the night. It is unconscionable to expect vulnerable pet owners to leave a loved one behind.

The Emergency Shelter Network (ESN) has received a PetSmart Charities grant to support pet co-sheltering in NYC homeless shelters. As part of this effort, we are collaborating with a wide range of partners, including Positive Tails, My Dog is My Home, NYC Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare, and others, to build alliances to change this policy. As part of this grant, ESN will co-sponsor free street pet clinics to support pet owners looking for shelter, deliver “Lunch & Learn” webinars featuring stories of successful pet co-sheltering models, and support faith-based emergency shelter partners to host guests and their animal companions. For more information, e-mail Laura Bentley,