Goodyear domestic violence shelter builds dog park to provide comfort to victims

A west Valley domestic violence shelter adds a dog park specifically designed for the women and children staying in the facility.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:45 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 6:28 PM MST
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GOODYEAR, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Kate Theone works at the New Life Center Domestic Violence Shelter and has seen firsthand the difference this new dog park has on the women and children that stay here. “Having a space like this is definitely part of enhancing the healing process of participants,” said Theone. “Not only that, but it’s also a sense of normalcy that’s really important.”

Earlier this month, the new dog park opened for business thanks to a $175,000 donation from PetSmart charities. Shelter CEO Myriah Mhoon knows that dogs and pets can provide much-needed comfort during difficult times. However, she said in many cases, people in abusive relationships are reluctant to leave their situation and seek help because they don’t want to abandon their dog.

The dog park lets survivors of domestic violence know there’s a place they can go to get help and take their family pet with them. “Once they know they can bring in their animals to the shelter, and not only on campus but into same room, they are really encouraged to making that leap,” said Mhoon. “Once they hear animals are welcome on site, it makes it that much easier for them to come and start the journey of healing.”

The dog park will be open around the clock, providing pet owners who’ve been abused a place to escape and get their lives back on track. “In some of the darkest days of their lives, this is a bright spot,” said Theone.

For more details on helping the New Life Center visit https://newlifectr.org/.