Volunteer Spotlight: Pet Hotel owner Mary Perry provides safe home for pets

Adrienne and her son Ali, Louisville Family Housing residents, are grateful that Lucky, their family cat, has a safe home at the Pet Hotel while they prepare to move into affordable housing.

When a family becomes homeless, they face many difficult challenges. One dilemma that families often face is determining what will happen to their family pets. Pets are like family members for many of the families we serve at Louisville Family Housing Services, and worrying about finding them a new home while they are in transitional housing just adds to this stress.

After reading an article about this problem in the Louisville Courier-Journal in 2009, Mary Perry, owner of The Pet School and Hotel, knew she wanted to help provide a safe home for these animals while their families worked to overcome homelessness.

"There is a need out there, and I can fulfill it. It is important for me to do this," said Mary, who has been caring for and rescuing a variety of animals for decades.

"Mary is an angel. She has literally saved the lives of so many of our families' pets," said Jayne Harbin-Pettit, Louisville Family Housing Services Administrative and Children's Coordinator. "Without Mary's assistance, these families would have no other option but to either surrender their pets to Metro Animal Control - and due to overcrowding, an uncertain future - or leave their pets to fend for themselves."

Mary alleviated these concerns for Louisville Family Housing resident, Adrienne, and her seven year-old son Ali, when they became homeless last spring. Adrienne thought they might have to find a new home for their cat, Lucky, which would be hard on Ali, as they had become attached to each other over the years. But because of Mary's generosity, Lucky has been able to stay at the Pet School and Hotel while Adrienne works towards self-sufficiency and prepares to move into affordable housing.

"It gives me peace of mind knowing that he is here and he is safe," Adrienne shared while visiting Lucky at the Pet School. Though they are at ease knowing Lucky is being so well cared for, she and Ali can't wait to bring him to their own home soon, Adrienne said.

If you are interested in volunteering or giving back in a unique way to the families at Louisville Family Housing Services like Mary, contact Michelle West at MichelleW@voamid.org or (502) 636-0771.