Goodyear domestic violence shelter builds dog park to comfort victims

GOODYEAR, Arizona (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 who stay there. “Having a space like this is definitely part of enhancing the healing process for participants,” Theone said. “Not only that, but it’s also a sense of normalcy that’s really important.”

Earlier this month, the new dog park opened 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 says, in many cases, people in abusive relationships are reluctant to leave their situation and seek help because they don’t want to give up their dog.

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

The dog park will be open 24 hours a day, giving owners of abused animals a place to escape and get their lives back on track. “In some of the darkest days of their lives, it’s a beacon of hope,” Theone said.

For more details on helping the New Life Center, visit