Mia & Billy, pictured with PetSmart PetsHotel associate, Audra, are two of AHS’ Project Home Away from Home pets.

The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) and PetSmart PetsHotel are partnering to help keep pets and their owners together in the face of the housing crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnership is an extension of AHS’ Project Home Away From Home, a foster program for pets whose owners are facing housing instability due to the pandemic. The program is a critical part of the Pet Housing Help AZ Task Force, which AHS established with six of its animal welfare partners to support those facing eviction. According to multiple sources, in Maricopa County, it is estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 pets could be in jeopardy of losing their homes each month due to their families’ housing instability. This would double Arizona shelters’ current animal intake.

“We recognized early on that we can’t do this alone. We’re grateful for this innovative collaboration with PetSmart's PetsHotel, which allows us to be able to give pet owners peace of mind that their furry friends are being cared for during such difficult times,” said Carrie Hughes, AHS foster manager.

As part of Project Home Away From Home, AHS works closely with PetSmart’s PetsHotels for temporary pet housing when AHS’ foster homes reach capacity. Mia and Billy are two of the pets currently residing at a PetSmart PetsHotel. They’ll receive care there until they are able to enter an AHS Foster Hero home or be reunited with their pet parents.

“As an organization dedicated to doing anything for pets, PetSmart is proud to partner with the Arizona Humane Society,” said Josh Patterson, director PetsHotel and pet training services. “We know the pandemic has brought challenges for pet parents, so we’re happy to help support them during this difficult time.”

Pet owners facing housing instability, unforeseen hospitalization, deployment or a domestic violence situation can apply for the program through AHS. Those who qualify may enter the program for 60 to 90 days.