The Arizona Pet Project Explores Expansion in Flagstaff

Aug 29, 2023

The Arizona Pet Project (AZPP) leadership team recently traveled to Northern Arizona to meet with local partners on our Statewide expansion journey. We had the pleasure of meeting with Adriana Fisher, the Housing Program Manager for City of Flagstaff, Ross Schaefer, the Executive Director of Flagstaff Shelter Services, and Gwen Groth, the Regional Philanthropic Advisor for the Arizona Community Foundation. These meetings provided valuable insights into the unique challenges that pets pose to housing in Coconino County, particularly due to its tight housing market.

The Arizona Pet Project has provided support to the Greater Phoenix area since its inception and now has staff onsite in Southern Arizona and Greater Tucson. As part of our expansion, AZPP is currently accepting referrals from across the State, including Northern Arizona. Meeting with local agencies and leaders serves to deepen relationships, increase the number of referrals from the region, create sustainability, and eventually, could even lead to stationing a social worker in Flagstaff!

Flagstaff, nestled in the beautiful Northern Arizona region, is known for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor activities. However, the scarcity of affordable housing options in this area has become a significant barrier for families with pets. Many landlords are hesitant to accept tenants with pets, and this has led to numerous families facing the heartbreaking decision of giving up their beloved pets or forgoing housing altogether. Like many other communities in Arizona, rates of homelessness have also risen dramatically over the past few years.

Recognizing the urgent need to address this issue, members of our leadership team discussed long-term solutions with Flagstaff officials, including policy shifts to ensure social service programs and housing are pet-inclusive. By working closely with these agencies, we hope to bridge the gaps and create more pet-friendly housing and program opportunities.

In addition to addressing the immediate challenges, we also aim to ensure the sustainability of our efforts in Northern Arizona. We are actively developing funding plans to continue our work in this region and provide ongoing support for families and their pets. Our goal is not only to save pets from being separated from their families but also to support the well-being of these families as a whole.

Continuing to expand our reach statewide aligns perfectly with our mission of supporting families and saving pets across Arizona. Our team is thrilled at the progress that has been made in the Greater Phoenix area and Greater Tucson. As we look to the future, it is our intention and our hope to continue our mission to improve the lives of both pets and their owners by expanding our presence within Northern Arizona and Greater Flagstaff.

The visit to Flagstaff was just the beginning of our ongoing efforts to build partnerships and expand our reach throughout the state. We will continue to meet with community partners in the human services field, collaborating on innovative solutions and building bridges to overcome the barriers faced by families with pets. Everyone wins when we all work together!

As we continue to forge ahead in our mission to support families and save pets, we are grateful for the support and collaboration of community leaders like Adriana Fisher, Ross Schaefer, and Gwen Groth. Their dedication to making a difference in the lives of both humans and animals in Flagstaff is truly inspiring.

Stay tuned for more updates on the expansion of The Arizona Pet Project and our efforts to create a more pet-friendly Arizona. Together, we can make a lasting impact and ensure that all families have the opportunity to provide a loving home for their pets!

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