New project to help homeless, their pets

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. It's being called a shelter within a shelter - a pet shelter within a homeless shelter in Hollywood. The new program provides emergency shelter and support services for the homeless and their pets.

Petco Place, which opened Monday morning, is the first shelter of its kind in California. The project was sponsored by PETCO, PAWS/LA, and People Assisting The Homeless (PATH).

Members of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the L.A. City Hall were on hand Monday to welcome the new facility.

Authorities say there are about 73,000 homeless people in Los Angeles and about 10 percent of them own a dog or cat. Up until now, homeless individuals have not been able to take their pets with them to a shelter, so many abandon their dogs and cats or end up staying on the streets.

PATH, which is the largest homeless service provider in California, says the program is another way to get homeless people back on their feet.

"We at PATH encounter first hand people on the streets with pets, everyday, 24/7," said Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH. "And we are frustrated because many of these people would get housing and would be served if there was a place for their animals as well. Now we have a place for their animals."

Officials expect the shelter to fill up rather quickly. Only homeless people staying at the shelter can bring in their dogs and cats.

Get more information about PATH and Petco Place
Get more information about Paws/LA
Petco Place: (323) 960-3333


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