October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Purina and RedRover are asking fellow pet lovers to join the Purple Leash Project and help shine a light on an issue faced by far too many domestic violence survivors with pets who have the will to leave but nowhere to go. Today, only about 10 percent of domestic violence shelters in the United States allow pets, leaving some abuse victims with a heart-wrenching decision – stay in abusive situations with their pets or leave their pets behind to face the abuser alone. As a result, nearly half of survivors choose to delay leaving if they can't take their pet with them.
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As an organization built on the belief that people and pets are better together, Purina committed more than $500,000 to create RedRover + Purina Purple Leash Project grants to fund pet-friendly renovations at domestic abuse shelters across the United States. In addition to offering grant support for shelter upgrades, Purina and RedRover are providing trained volunteers to help with renovations, donating pet food, supplies and other resources for pet owners escaping abuse as well as advocating for change at a national level as part of the PAWS Act coalition, which aims to increase federal support for the cause.
As part of this national initiative, Purina and Emmy award-winning journalist Maria Menounos have teamed up to inspire people to take action for domestic violence victims and their pets.
"Nobody should have to choose between their own safety and the safety of their pets," said Menounos, a pet enthusiast and owner of three beloved dogs. "I've long been an advocate for pets and share Purina's belief that pets and people are better together. That's why I am humbled to join the Purple Leash Project and lend my voice for those who are suffering in silence with their pets by their side."
In October, as part of the Purple Leash Project, Purina and RedRover encourage fellow pet lovers to join Maria and others to lend their social voices to advocate for change and "take the lead" for domestic violence survivors – which often includes pets.
The ask is simple:
- Snap a picture while walking your pet
- Share it on Facebook or Instagram using hashtag #PurpleLeashProject
- Challenge (tag) three friends to do the same
"Domestic violence and its impact on the daily lives of our friends, neighbors and their pets is a social issue, and we're asking fellow pet lovers and survivor advocates to lend their voices on social media to help drive awareness and advocate for change," said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Purina. "Purina has a longstanding commitment to the health and wellness of pets, and our advocacy for domestic violence victims with pets extends our efforts beyond the food bowl as we work to help ensure that every pet has a long, healthy life in a loving home."
To learn more about the Purple Leash Project, make a donation or sign up for ongoing updates, visit PurpleLeashProject.com.