October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Nearly half of all domestic abuse victims delay leaving because they don’t want
to leave their pet behind, yet as few as 10% of domestic violence shelters accept pets.
The Purple Leash Project is working to change that.

2020 Sponsorship For Human-Animal Bond Studies


Application period open now until May 15, 2019

Nestlé Purina Petcare Company is committed to enhancing the well-being of cats and dogs. We understand and share the strong passion and respect people have for their companions, and we believe that happy cats and dogs can make people feel joy as well.
Through this sponsorship program, Nestlé Purina aims to encourage high-quality scientific studies that lead to understanding the Human-Animal Bond.  We seek to promote fundamental knowledge of the benefits that cats and dogs deliver to us in different environments and situations. Nestlé Purina will also encourage communication of the study findings, so the benefits of the Human-Animal Bond can reach people and their cats and dogs worldwide.

The Nestlé Purina Human-Animal Bond sponsorship program can provide research sponsorships to applicants affiliated with (but not limited to) academic institutions, foundations, charities or NGOs. Applicants may request up to $30,000 USD per proposal.
Examples of areas of interest for studies include (but are not limited to) the following (Click here to apply):

  1. Pets at work programs
  2. Animal-assisted therapy programs
  3. Child development and pets
  4. Pet ownership, activity levels and obesity risks in people  
  5. Pets, loneliness and the elderly
  6. Toy dog behavior
  7. The impact of pets on human post-traumatic stress disorders, phobias or anxiety


  1. Only proposals about cats or dogs will be evaluated
  2. Only one proposal per researcher will be evaluated
  3. Research must not be double-funded
  4. Applicants with other corporate affiliations may pose a conflict of interest with Nestlé Purina’s business.  Potential conflicts of interest will be evaluated by Nestlé Purina.  Nestlé Purina reserves the right to disqualify an applicant/researcher on the grounds of conflict of interest
  5. All research studies will require approval by Nestlé Purina and the local ethical/animal use committee and must be fully compliant with local and national animal welfare regulations
  6. Nestlé Purina will only fund non-invasive research studies and procedures consistent with routine veterinary care. We do not participate in any invasive research that causes injury, illness or disease or that results in euthanasia of dogs or cats
  7. All applications must provide a timeline with specific deliverables
  8. All applications must provide a detailed budget 
  9. Payments to the selected applicants will be divided by Nestlé Purina into pre-determined installments   
  10. University overhead cost will be limited to $1,000 USD maximum per application 
  11. If the application is accepted, Nestlé Purina will be acknowledged as a sponsor in all communications about the project 
  12. Applicants will provide a report midway through their research describing the project status in relation to the agreed timeline and deliverables
  13. Projects must be completed within a maximum of two years after receiving first installment
  14. A final report, including raw data, must be submitted to Nestlé Purina upon completion of the project
  15. All communications regarding the sponsored projects (e.g., scientific abstracts, peer-reviewed publications) must be submitted to Nestlé Purina for review prior to submission
  16.  Nestlé Purina may provide additional funds, on request, to support further dissemination of the research findings to enhance the relationships between people and cats or dogs (e.g. open access publication costs)
  17. If any intellectual property is generated by the Sponsorship, Nestlé Purina shall have exclusive first rights to negotiate a license for Intellectual Property


  1. Application forms are available at www.purina.com/HumanAnimalBond.  Completed applications must be sent to [email protected]
  2. Applications must be submitted in English
  3. Applications must not exceed five pages

CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS: (all of these factors will be considered by the evaluation panel and are not in ranked order)

  1. Potential to better understand the bond between people and pets
  2. Welfare considerations for all pets involved and the environment where the research will take place 
  3. Scientific merit of the proposal
  4. Deliverables and value for the investment
  5. Anticipated outreach and potential for dissemination of the research (scientific journals, presentation at conferences, newsworthiness, etc.)
  6. Originality of the idea and research hypothesis
  7. Applicants must be recently qualified researchers with no more than 10 years since award of Ph.D. or start of researcher career
  8. Applicants do not have to be based within academic organizations, but they will be expected to show research capacity


The 2020 Nestlé Purina Human-Animal Bond Sponsorship program will follow this time schedule:

  • Announcements and rules for the sponsorship program will be communicated in March of 2019
  • Application deadline for 2020 sponsorship program ends on May 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm US Central Standard Time 
  • Applications will be evaluated in June of 2019 
  • Contracts for allocated sponsorships will be signed in the Fall of 2019
  • Fund allocation will begin following individual project requirements once the contracts have been signed (early 2020)  
  • Fund allocation will be completed after review of the final project reports
  • All studies are expected to be completed by December 2021


  • All applicants have the responsibility to provide accurate and honest information
  • Applicants will be asked to enter into Sponsorship Agreements that will be provided by Nestlé Purina. A Sponsorship Agreement does not imply that applicants become employees of Nestlé Purina
  • Applicants will be required to provide financial information for tax and payment purposes
  • Applicants are required to find and provide facilities for the work

Click here to apply.

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