Oct 25, 2017— Greenwood, SC – Beyond Abuse recently received a $2,500 grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, designed to improve the quality of life for victims of child abuse and sexual assault through their animal assisted therapy program.

Pets have the remarkable ability to bring us comfort, to reduce stress and anxiety, and provide unconditional love.  In fact, in a recent survey commissioned by PetSmart Charities and conducted by Wakefield Research, 94 percent of Americans surveyed agreed with the statement: Pets are essential for people to maintain good physical and mental health.

With this grant, Beyond Abuse will be able to provide Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), a goal-directed intervention program where an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process.   AAT is conducted with a handler/animal team under the observation and direction of a health/human services professional who has set specific goals for the session.  Early indicators predict that 30-40 victims per year will benefit from this innovative approach to therapy.

“The program has been proven to be a huge success with clients as many of them are not only completing therapy, but completing it in a shorter time frame.  This helps us fulfill our mission to move our community beyond sexual violence through awareness, advocacy, and action.” said Jessica Bell, Director of Clinical Services for Beyond Abuse.

Enhancing Quality of Life Through Pets is just one of PetSmart Charities’ ten grant categories designed to support their expanded mission: to find lifelong loving homes for all pets by supporting programs that bring people and pets together. Funding from PetSmart Charities supports best practices that enhance the human-animal bond and keep more pets in loving homes with their forever families.  For more information, visit


About Beyond Abuse
Beyond Abuse is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization which primarily serves Abbeville, Greenwood and Laurens Counties.  Our mission is to lead our community beyond sexual violence and child abuse through awareness, advocacy and action.    For more information, please visit our website at or find us on facebook:

About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together.  In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support:  Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores.  In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row — placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization.  To learn more visit

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Media Contact:
Beyond Abuse                                                                                  24-Hour PetSmart Charities
Cathy Miller                                                                                        Media Line:  623-587-2177
864 227 1623

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