The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is increasingly aware of the connection between animal welfare and human welfare. In the best circumstances, animals and people thrive in a shared environment. In other instances, pet welfare issues may help to identify abuse or neglect occurring in the home, the need for additional support, or additional issues such as stability, mobility, and independence. In homes where there are limited resources and social services is involved, pets may be overlooked or not considered relevant to the challenging work addressing the health and welfare of the people at risk. We began our Helping Pets and People in Crisis program because we see the importance of recognizing animals in an at-risk environment.
Since 2006, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals has been responding to calls for help regarding pet owners facing domestic violence, illness, homelessness, and other serious crises. By assisting in more than five hundred individual cases, the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program has compiled important resources, information, and promising interventions that can help people, along with their pets, during the most challenging times in their lives. Our toolkit has been created to help social workers and human service organizations incorporate pet welfare into their work.