With the federal eviction moratorium expiring Saturday July 31, 2021, millions of American families are at risk of losing their homes. The number of animals displaced with their people is likely to be catastrophic.
Animal shelters across the country, already full, will be further stretched for space and resources.
“We can and must keep pets and families together, and save shelter animals’ lives,” says Kristen Hassen, director for American Pets Alive! and a national expert on community-based animal sheltering. “No one should be faced with the decision of having to give up a family member while in a housing emergency. With shelters and communities working together, we can help families facing this devastating eviction crisis.”
American Pets Alive! offers the following tools, resources, and tips, as we navigate this extraordinary crisis:
- Keeping Families Together Eviction Response Toolkit: This comprehensive toolkit, created in collaboration with The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and The Humane Society of the United States, offers concrete ways for shelters and other animal and human services providers to ready a response to the eviction crisis, offer services that will keep people and pets together, and provide temporary solutions to ensure families stay intact.
- Three Things Animal Shelters Should Do To Keep Families Together: This blog, offering three ways for animal shelters to help keep families together and pets out of the shelter during a housing crisis, was first written a year ago—and is just as urgent and relevant today.
The three things are:
- Build An Emergency Foster Program: Providing or arranging emergency fostering for pets, when their owners are in crisis and can’t care for them, is a critical way to keep families together and pets out of animal shelters.
We’ve just published this profile on Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering—a Salt Lake City, Utah-based emergency fostering organization—full of inspiration, ideas, and tips.
- Use Mutual Aid To Harness Your Community’s Will To Help Pets Stay With Their Families And Out Of The Shelter: Mutual aid is when people get together to meet each other’s basic needs. Animal mutual aid is when people help each other with pet-related challenges—and in so doing, keep families together and pets out of animal shelters.
The following blog by Human Animal Support Services offers the nitty gritty on how and why you and your community can use mutual aid to keep families together.
American Pets Alive! (AmPA!) is the national education and outreach division of Austin Pets Alive! AmPA! empowers individuals, organizations and communities to transform animal shelter systems and end unnecessary death of shelter animals. Utilizing lifesaving best practices born in Austin, AmPA! hosts the Maddie’s® Learning Academy with online courses, apprenticeships and fellowships, and provides ongoing crisis and operations support to shelters around the country.
American Pets Alive!’s Human Animal Support Services project is an international, collaborative effort of more than 400 animal shelters and 1,000 animal welfare professionals who are working together to keep pets with their families and reimagine animal services to better support their communities.