People receive substance abuse therapy as well as pet care through this collaboration.
Addicted Utah: Partnership gets people substance use treatment & care for their pets (Photo: KUTV)
KUTV) — A new cooperation ensures that people's dogs are cared for while they are undergoing substance abuse treatment.
Odyssey House and the non-profit Ruff Haven recently agreed to collaborate on the initiative.
Ruff Haven is a facility that provides crisis lodging for animals when their people are going through a difficult time, Marisa Hernandez, Ruff Haven's head of operations, noted.
Domestic abuse, health issues, natural disasters, and other issues have all been addressed by the organization.
We started during COVID and it's just become crazier and busier, Hernandez explained.
Ruff Haven will house Odyssey House clients' pets for free for up to 90 days while they receive inpatient treatment.
It's incredible how hard these individuals work for their pets and what keeps them going, Hernandez added.
Clients receive weekly check-ins, photos, and health updates from staff until they are reunited with their pets.
The reunifications are just the cherry on top, Hernandez explained. "It means so lot to me."
It's like a match made in heaven to help folks escape out of a life of hell, Odyssey House's Randall Carlisle said.
Except for their pet, many persons struggling with substance abuse and addiction disorders have lost all ties.
The ideal circumstance is for the person to emerge from treatment as a whole person, reunited with their pet, and everyone to have a happy ending, Carlisle added.
Steve Flores has completed Odyssey House's residential treatment program and is reunited with his cat, Gilly.
He had just recently adopted the two-year-old cat before deciding to seek treatment for his alcoholism.
According to Carlisle, this collaboration removes a significant barrier to obtaining therapy.
I've talked to a lot of folks who say I won't come into therapy because of my pet; now they can't claim that, he added.
Flores explained, It got to the point where I couldn't function without it.
Odyssey would have to leave Gilly behind to get clean because he can't take in pets.
I was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, he explained.
But he was able to locate Ruff Haven, which agreed to take Gilly in so he wouldn't have to worry about his new companion. Flores feels more at ease during his therapy because of the frequent check-ins and updates.
Flores stated of his reunion with Gilly at Ruff Haven, I was excited the whole way here.
With Gilly by his side, he's ready for a new start in life on the road to rehabilitation.
Flores stated, I feel wonderful, absolutely great. I mean, all we have to do now is keep the ball rolling and keep moving forward.
According to the agreement, if someone need more therapy after the three months, Ruff Haven will continue to care for their pet and Odyssey House would compensate them.