Approximately 10 percent of domestic violence shelters in the United States currently accept pets.* That’s a small number considering one in three women experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.
There are currently no pet-friendly domestic violence shelters in the states of Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or West Virginia. The lack of shelters that accept pets creates a significant barrier to victims in need of help.
This is why Purina has partnered with RedRover. Together we can bring more pet-friendly shelters to a greater number of states across the country. This will improve accessibility of these shelters to the women, men and children who have escaped abuse and want to keep their families—including the four-legged family members—together.
RedRover & Purina Working Together to Create More Pet-Friendly Domestic Violence Shelters
Purina and RedRover recognize the lack of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters forces many victims to make an impossible decision to leave their pet behind or stay in a dangerous situation.
Nicole Forsyth, CEO of RedRover, said, “For more than eleven years, our team has been working to support domestic violence victims with pets, and together with Purina, we’ll be able to accelerate our goals with a hope of having a pet-friendly shelter in all fifty states by 2020.”
We hope our partnership will provide shelters across the country with the financial support needed to allow them to accommodate both people and their pets so they can stay together and heal together.
The RedRover + Purina Purple Leash Project is an extension of RedRover’s Safe Housing program. The Safe Housing program provides grants to help domestic violence shelters build pet housing or partner with other community organizations to provide housing solutions.
Purple Leash Project Grants
Beginning in 2019 and over the next four years, Purina is committing more than $500,000 to establish the RedRover + Purina Purple Leash Project grants.
These grants will be awarded to domestic violence shelters on a biannual basis to provide funding and resources to transform emergency shelters and transitional housing into safe spaces for domestic violence survivors with pets.
“Alongside Purina, we invite any domestic violence shelter that is ready to become pet friendly to apply for a Purple Leash Project grant. We are ready to help!” says Forsyth.
Throughout the year, volunteers from Purina will work alongside domestic violence shelters to assist in transforming their spaces into safe and inviting places for both survivors and their pets.
Purina’s Commitment to Helping People & Pets Heal Together
Purina has been dedicated to keeping domestic violence survivors and their pets together for more than five years by supporting Urban Resource Institute (URI).
They wanted to bring more pet-friendly domestic violence shelters to the New York City area. With Purina’s help, they were the first organization in the country to create an entirely pet-friendly domestic violence shelter.
Purina has also worked with Lydia House, a women’s shelter in St. Louis. Volunteers helped make some of their housing units pet friendly and created some safe outdoor spaces for women and their pets.
Most recently, Purina joined other for-profit and non-profit organizations as part of the PAWS Act Coalition. As leaders in pet care, pet welfare and domestic violence services, the coalition advocated for more and better protections for victims and their pets at a federal level.
The Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS) passed on December 20, 2018.
Apply for a RedRover + Purina Purple Leash Project Grant
By partnering with RedRover for the Purple Leash Project, Purina can further the mission to keep people and pets together.
“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,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, President of Purina. “Together with RedRover, we can reshape the way domestic violence victims and their pets are served and strengthen our communities in the process.”