In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Purina and the nonprofit RedRover announced the recipients of seven new Purple Leash Project grants to help domestic violence shelters make pet-friendly renovations. This is part of an ongoing effort to provide more resources and support for survivors of domestic abuse with pets, who often will delay leaving an abuser if they can't take their pet with them. Today, fewer than 20% of domestic violence shelters in the United States accept pets, and Purina and RedRover are on a mission to change that.
"There simply aren't enough places to go with their pet, forcing many survivors to stay with an abuser rather than leave their pet behind," said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO of Purina. "Our goal is to build a future where no one escaping abuse has to make that choice, because as pet lovers, we know that the bond we share with our pets is special and worth protecting."
Through the Purple Leash Project, Purina and RedRover have provided more than $1.2 million through 46 grants to domestic violence shelters and service providers across the country since it was founded in 2019, providing thousands of safe nights for survivors with pets. To continue this momentum, Purina also is supporting efforts to help ensure that at least 25% of domestic violence shelters are pet-friendly by 2025.
The most recent recipients of Purple Leash Project grants are:
- The Women's Safe House in St. Louis County, Missouri will receive $60,000 to fund a new program called The Pet Safe House. This includes building a climate-controlled kennel that features four pet suites with access to a secure outdoor area for pets.
- Safelight Inc. in Henderson County, North Carolina will receive $60,000 to build the organization's first-ever onsite kennel which will allow the shelter to house dogs and cats.
- F.A.I.T.H. Inc. in Rabun County, Georgia will receive $60,000 to build on-site dog and cat kennels.
- Schuylkill Hope Center in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania will receive $60,000 to complete a pet shelter, including electrical and water hookups as well as heating and cooling controls.
- Peace at Home Family Shelter in Washington County, Arkansas will receive $60,000 to build an on-site pet sanctuary that includes kennel space for dogs and cats, indoor and outdoor play spaces, laundry and grooming areas as well as pet supply storage.
- Verde Valley Sanctuary in Yavapai County, Arizona will receive $60,000 to add an additional six indoor/outdoor dog kennels to their emergency shelter and veterinary care for survivors.
- 180 Turning Lives Around in Monmouth County, New Jersey will receive $6,000 to support its on-site pet housing program.
"Thanks in part to RedRover and Purina's Purple Leash Project grant, Peace at Home Family Shelter will be able to build the Candy Clark Pet Sanctuary, which will provide a safe place for survivors of domestic violence to escape abusive homes with their beloved pets," said Peace at Home Family Shelter CEO, Teresa Mills. "Animals are not safe in homes with domestic violence, and families fleeing abuse are often afraid to leave their pets behind in dangerous homes. This grant will keep families with their pets, prevent animal abuse, and save lives."
The need for resources continues to grow as more domestic abuse shelters consider the positive impact that caring for pets can have on all of the survivors in their care. And Purina is asking pet lovers to step up and support this important work.
"There's pride in the progress that's been made, but it's not enough," said Krueger. "We are trying to fundamentally change the landscape of domestic violence services for survivors with pets, and we need help."
Throughout the month of October, for every donation made to RedRover in support of the Purple Leash Project, Purina will match 100% of donations up to $200,000. Purina encourages fellow pet lovers to help support all of the survivors of abuse, including pets, by making a donation. Those who donate $60 or more can receive a special Purple Leash Project dog leash or cat collar, symbolizing the important connection between survivor and pet in their journey to heal together.
To learn more about the Purple Leash Project, donate or sign up for ongoing updates, visit www.PurpleLeashProject.com.
If you know someone who is being abused and is ready to leave with their pet, they can find information on pet-friendly shelters in their area at www.DomesticShelters.org.