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- Proverbs 3:5-6
April 2024
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New Life Center Unveils New Dog Park for Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors
By Claire Natale - Thursday Dec 01, 2022
New Life Center (NLC), the largest domestic violence shelter in Maricopa Country and one of the largest in the country, is excited to announce that it has officially opened a new dog park thanks to a $175,000 grant from PetSmart Charities received last September. The new park is an extension of the existing enclosed basketball area and will use artificial grass for drought tolerance and ease of cleaning.

“After a year of long-awaited planning and construction, we’re so excited that this park is now open for our four-legged residents,” said Myriah Mhoon, CEO of NLC. “Animals play an essential role during a survivor’s healing journey, and these new amenities will ensure their stay at the shelter is as comfortable as possible.”

Research conducted over the last two decades reveals that intimate partner abuse and pet abuse are related. According to research done by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 52 percent of victims in shelters left their pets with their batterers. This can be incredibly jarring and prevent them from fully healing. Pets are not just a commodity for survivors, but a part of their families.

“More than 70 percent of victims of intimate partner violence report their abusers also harmed or threatened their pets,” said Kate Atema, director of Community Grant Initiatives at PetSmart Charities. “Ensuring that refuges are pet friendly helps victims escape, knowing their pets will be welcome and safe. During times of crises, pets and people need each other more than ever, and we applaud New Life Center’s innovative thinking.”

The funds also 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.
Families staying at NLC are provided with private casitas, allowing for residents to keep a variety of companion animals alongside them without a kennel. Additionally, NLC supports 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.

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