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7 Domestic violence shelters receive grants to make pet-friendly renovations


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

Soloviova Liudmyla / stock.adobe.com

Soloviova Liudmyla / stock.adobe.com

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:

  • 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 4 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 on-site 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 6 indoor/outdoor dog kennels to their emergency shelter and veterinary care for survivors.
  • 180 Turning Lives Around in Monmouth County, New Jersey will receive $6000 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 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.


  1. Purina and RedRover announce 2023 Purple Leash Project grants and ask for help supporting domestic abuse survivors with pets. News release. Purina. October 4, 2023. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/purina-and-redrover-announce-2023-purple-leash-project-grants-and-ask-for-help-supporting-domestic-abuse-survivors-with-pets-301947177.html
  2. National Survey on Domestic Violence and Pets: Breaking Barriers to Safety and Healing.Urban Resource Institute; National Domestic Violence Hotline. May 2021. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/PALS-Report-Exec-Summary.pdf

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