A total of $360,000 has been gifted through the Purple Leash Project
Editor's note: This article includes a discussion of domestic violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit https://www.thehotline.org.
If you are a victim and need pet-friendly housing, please visit www.SafePlaceForPets.org to find pet-friendly shelters in your area.
Purina and nonprofit RedRover have named the recipients of 7 new Purple Leash Project grants, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The goal of the funding is to help domestic violence shelters incorporate pet-friendly renovations.1
Domestic abuse survivors with pets often won’t leave an abuser if they cannot take their animals with them. According to a survey conducted by the Urban Resource Institute and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline),2 of the 2500 individuals who interacted with the The Hotline, 97% of them reported that keeping their pets with them is an important factor in deciding whether to seek shelter. However, the survey also cited that only approximately 250 shelters are pet-friendly in the United States.
"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, in the release. "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."
Since the Purple Leash Project was initiated in 2019, Purina and RedRover have provided more than $1.2 million through 46 grants to domestic violence shelters. Last year, they awarded 4 shelters with a total of over $150,000. To further their mission, Purina also is supporting efforts to help ensure at least 25% of domestic violence shelters are pet-friendly by 2025.1
The 2023 grant recipients of Purple Leash Project grants include1:
"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 Teresa Mills, CEO, Peace at Home Family Shelter, in the release.1 "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."
"There's pride in the progress that's been made, but it's not enough," added Krueger. "We are trying to fundamentally change the landscape of domestic violence services for survivors with pets, and we need help."
Throughout October, for every donation made to RedRover in support of the Purple Leash Project, Purina will match 100% of donations up to $200,000.1 Purina invites the public to make donations to help support all survivors of abuse, including pets. Individuals who donate $60 or more can receive a special Purple Leash Project dog leash or cat collar, displaying the human-animal bond between survivor and pet in their journey to heal together.