Colleen Parker is the Technical Assistance and Training Coordinator at the Urban Resource Institute’s People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) program in New York, New York. The PALS program’s mission is to remove barriers to shelter access for domestic violence survivors by allowing them to enter and remain in shelter together with their pets. Colleen works to expand the quality of resources available to URI residents and their pets by developing and implementing internal training initiatives for staff members. She also performs outreach and provides personalized support to external domestic violence shelter providers who are looking to develop their ability to address the needs of pet-owning survivors in their own communities. After beginning her professional journey in emergency and critical care animal hospitals where she supported pets’ families through times of crisis, she experienced the strong bond that people share with their pets first-hand and realized that her goal was to dedicate her career to supporting and strengthening that bond. Colleen holds a BSW from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MS in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University.