RedRover & Purina Are Partnering Together to Make Domestic Violence Shelters Across the Country More Pet Friendly

The bond between pets and their owners is unbreakable. Unfortunately, for many domestic violence victims, the lack of pet-friendly housing options forces them to face the unthinkable choice of enduring more abuse in order to remain with their pet, or to flee but leave their pet behind. No victim should be forced to make that choice. That’s why RedRover and Purina are partnering together to introduce the Purple Leash Project, to make domestic violence shelters across the U.S. more pet-friendly so victims and their pets can remain together and go through the healing process together.

According to a press release, the Purple Leash Project will offer more than $500,000 over the next four years, in grants to keep pets and their owners together. The grants, which will be awarded on a biannual basis, will help to provide resources and funding to transform shelters into safe spaces for victims with pets.

Only 10 percent of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. allow pets, and nearly half of domestic violence victims, wanting to make sure their pet is safe, won’t leave the situation if they cannot take their pet with them. RedRover and Purina hope that by offering these resources, domestic violence victims will see the purple leash as a lifeline to a better future with their pet by their side.

“We have a responsibility to our family members, friends and neighbors and their pets who may be silently suffering from domestic abuse to create safe places where they can escape and heal together,” Nina Leigh Krueger, President of Purina, said in the press release. “Together with RedRover, we can reshape the way domestic violence victims and their pets are served and strengthen our communities in the process.”

The Purple Leash Project, an extension of RedRover’s Safe Housing program, will contribute to RedRover’s goal of establishing at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in each state, as there are currently no pet-friendly shelters in Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Eighty-three grants totaling $598,018.77 have been awarded to assist shelters to become pet-friendly since the Safe Housing program began in 2012.

Keeping to their commitment to help pets and their owners stay together as they escape domestic violence, Purina and RedRover Responder volunteers will also work alongside domestic violence shelters to transform spaces into safe places for pets, and Purina will provide grant recipient shelters with a donation of Purina pet foods to ensure that pets have a complete diet as they begin their chapter with their owners.

image via Purina/RedRover - Purple Leash Project

“For more than 11 years, RedRover has been working to support domestic violence survivors trying to escape abuse with their pets, and together with Purina, we’ll be able to accelerate our goals with a hope of having a pet-friendly shelter in all 50 states by 2020,” Nicole Forsyth, President and CEO of RedRover, said in the press release. “Alongside Purina, we encourage any domestic violence shelter that is ready to become pet-friendly to apply for a Purple Leash Project grant. We are ready to help!”

A beloved pet should never be an obstacle to leaving. If domestic violence shelters are interested in becoming pet friendly and applying for a Purple Leash Project grant, they can visit RedRover.org/relief/safe-housing-grants.