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By Claire Natale - Wednesday Sep 22, 2021
New Life Center (NLC), the largest domestic violence shelter in Maricopa Country and one of the largest in the country, has gratefully received $175,000 from PetSmart Charities, the foremost funder of animal welfare in North America and Canada.

Research conducted over the last two decades reveals that intimate partner abuse and pet abuse are related. Between 49 and 71 percent of abused women report their pets suffered abuse, too. Many women prolong staying in abusive relationships to protect their pets. This funding ensures pets can remain together with their families during stays with NLC — an essential component in helping women escape.

The grant made by PetSmart Charities will expand the scope of the Protecting Animals with Victims (P.A.W.S) Program. The funds will support pet housing in survivors’ rooms in the emergency shelter, along with options for fostering their pets off-site in partnership with a local animal program for those served by NLC’s outreach program.

“We are very fortunate to receive this grant and have the ability to further provide for our residents and their four-legged friends,” said Myriah Mhoon, CEO of NLC. “Animals play an essential role during a survivor’s healing journey, and the grant will ensure their stay at the shelter is as comfortable as possible.”

“Pets are treasured members of their families, and some victims of domestic abuse will remain in dangerous situations to protect them,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president at PetSmart Charities. “This funding makes it possible for more women to make that critical decision to leave, knowing the needs of the entire family will be met during their stay at New Life Center. Their precious pets can continue to give unconditional love and support as their family transitions to a safer environment.”

Families staying at NLC are provided with private casitas, allowing for residents to keep a variety of companion animals alongside them without a kennel. With this grant from PetSmart Charities, NLC can begin work on designated “pet-friendly” casitas with physical modifications made to give residents more autonomy and freedom. Additionally, NLC will support any expenses related to emergency care of a resident’s pet by ensuring access to food, veterinary care, and items such as leashes, collars, crates and toys.

The grant received from PetSmart Charities will also facilitate the construction of an on-site dog run and park, including weather-friendly turf and dirt to protect pets from extreme summer temperatures. Residents can also look forward to additional features such as chain link fencing, brick walls, lockable doors, security cameras and shaded areas.

To stay informed about the center’s latest activities, follow NLC on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about community impact, visit

About New Life Center
New Life Center serves more than 1,000 children and adults annually through an emergency shelter and outreach support program, where more than 70 percent of the shelter population is children. In 2017, New Life Center served more children and provided more bed nights than any other single facility providing emergency shelter to domestic violence survivors in Arizona. To learn more, visit

About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps nearly 600,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and emergency relief. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at, while shopping at, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $475 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit