Sign In

Protecting Houston Pets

May 22, 2020

As more Americans stay home during enforced quarantines — such as the stay-home extension ordered by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo — a dark trend has emerged. Reports across the country reflect an increase in domestic violence, which experts blame on isolation, stress, and anxiety.

One reason why individuals stay in abusive households is to protect children or pets, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Here in Houston, a local organization has launched a new program to create a safe space for pets in dangerous environments.

Houston PetSet, a local nonprofit, has launched a free pet boarding initiative for survivors of domestic violence, dubbed Pet Protect. The program is meant to aid individuals flee dangerous environments safely with their beloved companion animals.

While there are Houston-area programs offering boarding for animals during traditional work hours, Pet Protect aims to bridge the gap by offering a survivor the ability to board their animal at a safe location at any time of the day, according to a release.

Houston PetSet has partnered with Westbury Animal Hospital to offer boarding for pets when survivors of domestic violence are looking to leave their current situation Monday – Friday after 5 pm and before 8 am, and on weekends and holidays.

Houston Dog Ranch has also joined Pet Protect to offer boarding for animals that will come into the program Monday – Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Pets at the Houston Dog Ranch also receive behavioral assessments, training, and play group experiences, when appropriate.

Pet Protect will serve as a pilot program to survivors of domestic violence and their pets at no charge for upwards of 30 days.

“Since the stay-home, work-safe order was enacted, we’ve seen an increase in reports of domestic violence,” said Tama Lundquist, co-president of Houston PetSet, in a statement. “Unfortunately, we know that oftentimes an abuser will use a pet as leverage to keep their victim in the home. We hope that by launching the Pet Protect program, survivors will have peace of mind knowing that they can safely escape with their pet, and their companion will be cared for until the survivor can make their next transition in life.”

Houston PetSet is currently working with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the Houston Police Department, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office,  and the Houston Area Women’s Center to provide this program to survivors with animals. Those who need assistance should visit for more information.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more