Family Promise Goes to the Dogs

August 27, 2018

In 16-year-old Tasha’s world, dogs really are man’s best friend. Or rather, one dog in particular.

Little did    she and her family    know how important their new puppy, Roxie, would become to them when they brought her home three years ago.

There was an immediate connection between Tasha, who suffered from periodic seizures, and    the     new     dog. Roxie stuck close to her human “sister,” even sleeping at the foot of her bed. But no one realized how special their bond was until Roxie witnessed one of Tasha’s seizures.

Salt Lake - Pets w a Promise“Roxie found me and grabbed at me, leading me to Tasha,”    recalls    Tasha’s mom,    Laurie. “Thankfully, I got to her in time.”

From then on, dog and daughter were inseparable, Laurie says.

“Roxie’s my emotional support animal,” Tasha    explains. “Whenever I’m about to have a seizure,    she    finds my mom, whines, and makes her come check on me.”

When the family lost their home and came to Family Promise-Salt Lake, Utah, they worried what would become of Roxie since most agencies barred pets. But    Family    Promise’s partnership program with PetSmart Charities,    Pets    with    a    Promise,    enabled Family Promise to keep human and canine family members together.

“Because Roxie’s expenses    were covered, a volunteer offered to board her. The family visited    as often as they wanted,” says    Family Promise Program Manager Alyssa York.

For the three months the family was in the emergency shelter program, Roxie had a safe, comfortable home. And although she wasn’t around daily to keep a close eye on Tasha,    Roxie enjoyed frequent visits from her family.

The family    is    now    in    transitional    housing, and Roxie is back at the foot of Tasha’s bed    each night.

Since Roxie, the Affiliate has lodged one cat and expects to serve many more families and their pets. York    is thrilled    about    this    opportunity.

“Now families don’t    have    added    worries    about their pets when they’re in a crisis,” she says. “I love that we don’t have to turn anyone away.”

More than 100 Affiliates have been supported by PetSmart Charities through the Pets with a Promise program that allows families to remain together with their best friends.

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