An estimated one in three women and one in four men experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetimes, but only ten percent of domestic violence shelters accept pets. As a result, nearly half of victims choose to stay in abusive situations rather than leave their pet behind.
“I wasn’t expecting I wouldn’t be able to bring Princess.
And that was heartbreaking, especially for the kids.”
— Angie, Domestic Abuse Survivor, about her dog, Princess
Through the Purple Leash Project, we hope to not only raise awareness about the critically low number of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters, but to also change the statistics around domestic abuse and pets through the Purple Leash Project, the PAWS Act and more.
The purple leash serves as a visible symbol of an invisible struggle for domestic abuse victims and their pets. Purple represents domestic violence awareness and the leash symbolizes the unbreakable bond between pets and their owners.
The Purple Leash Project was born out of Purina’s mission to bring and keep pets and people together and RedRover’s mission to bring animals and their owners from crisis to care.
For the past 11 years, RedRover has done amazing work in changing the way domestic violence shelters and service providers serve domestic abuse victims with pets.
Purina is committing more than $500,000 through 2022 to establish Purple Leash Project grants. These grants will be awarded on a biannual basis to provide funding and resources to transform domestic violence shelters into safe spaces for survivors with pets.
Our goal through the Purple Leash Project is to increase the number of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters nationwide, making them more accessible to victims and their pets.
“We have NO shelters that allow pets where I live. I cannot thank you enough for taking this issue seriously. I actually cried when I watched your video, as no one to date has taken this subject seriously.”
— Domestic Abuse Survivor
Prior to the Purple Leash Project, Purina joined the PAWS Act Coalition, a group of non-profit and for-profit organizations that advocated for and supported the Pets and Women Safety (PAWS) Act.
The Act passed on December 20, 2018, as part of the Senate Farm Bill and will bridge gaps in services for domestic abuse victims and their pets. Purina and members of the PAWS Act Coalition will continue efforts to promote awareness of the issue and secure funding for the bill.
Purina also worked with Urban Resource Institute (URI) in New York City to open the nation’s first entirely pet-friendly domestic violence shelter.
Volunteers from Purina have also helped Lydia House, a St. Louis women’s shelter, welcome more pets as well.