Purina and the nonprofit RedRover continue their commitment to domestic abuse survivors by awarding six more Purple Leash Project grants to domestic violence shelters across the country this winter. The latest round of Purple Leash Project grant recipients include Sojourner Center in Maricopa County, AZ; Hope Haven of Cass County, MO; Palomar Family Justice Center in Oklahoma County, OK; Domestic Violence Intervention Program in Johnson County, IA; Domestic Abuse Family Shelter in Forrest County, MSand YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee in Davidson County, TN. Funding ensures that services provided to domestic abuse survivors are extended to family pets, who are often not allowed in shelters yet play a key role in whether or not a victim will leave her or his abuser.
The Purple Leash Project is a national effort to increase the number of pet-friendly domestic abuse shelters and provide more resources for survivors with pets. Shelters can use the grant money to complete renovations and upgrades to their survivor services offerings that will allow people and pets to escape and heal together. The need for increased survivor support has never been greater as domestic abuse has continued to rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As many nonprofits, including domestic violence service providers, have seen an increase in the need for their services throughout the pandemic, it's critical to continue the mission of the Purple Leash Project in supporting all of the victims of domestic abuse, including pets," said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and President of Purina. "By working together with RedRover to support shelters in their journey to become pet-friendly, we help create a better future for pets and the people who love them."
Purple Leash Project grants provide funding to make shelters pet friendly. Each grant recipient will use those funds for projects based on their specific needs:
· Sojourner Center in Maricopa County, AZ will receive $20,000 to renovate 6 rooms to be pet friendly as well as create an outdoor pet play area.
· Hope Haven of Cass County, MO was awarded $12,500 to help fund renovation and expansion of an on-site kennel structure.
· Palomar Family Justice Center in Oklahoma County, OK will receive $30,000 to build an outdoor kennel structure in collaboration with Oklahoma Humane Society to provide immediate emergency shelter for animals affected by abuse.
· Domestic Violence Intervention Program in Johnson County, IA was awarded $13,485 to create a safe and secure outdoor pet play area.
· Domestic Abuse Family Shelter in Forrest County, MS was awarded $20,000 to expand on-site housing for animal survivors of domestic abuse.
· YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee in Davidson County, TN will receive $20,000 to build an on-site kennel structure.
"Thanks to Purina and RedRover, we will now be able to provide immediate, emergency shelter for animals affected by domestic violence! We will no longer have to ask a victim to wait until we can line up a committed foster home for their animal- which unfortunately, could mean life or death for that animal and that victim," said Elizabeth Stoverink, Director of the Animal Advocacy Program, which is a collaborative program of Oklahoma Humane Society and the Palomar Family Justice Center in Oklahoma County, OK. "We are so proud of the progress we have been able to make in the Animal Advocacy Program, and we are excited for our new partnership with Purina."
Since the Purple Leash Project launched in 2019, Purina and RedRover have gifted 21 grants totaling more than $375,000 to help equip domestic violence shelters to receive and care for pets, leaving survivors with more options when trying to flee a dangerous situation. With almost half of domestic violence survivors choosing to delay leaving their abuser out of fear of what might happen to their pet if they leave, pet-friendly domestic abuse shelters can save lives.
Currently, 48 of the 50 U.S. states have at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter. The Purple Leash Project team hopes to work with domestic violence service providers in Hawaii and Rhode Island to close the gap. In the meantime, the program will continue supporting shelters across the country to grow the number of pet-friendly accommodations for survivors with pets.
To learn more about the Purple Leash Project, make a donation or sign up for ongoing updates, visit PurpleLeashProject.com.
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