A woman laying on her side petting a cat, next to a dog
Purple Leash Project Logo

About the Purple Leash Project

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.

1 in 3

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.


Only 17 percent of domestic violence shelters accept pets.


48 percent of domestic abuse survivors delay leaving because they can't take their pets with them.

Line drawings of dog and cat faces

Over 70 percent of women in domestic violence shelters report their abuser threatened, injured or killed a pet as a means of control.

The Journey to the Purple Leash Project

Nearly a decade ago, a Purina associate read about the difficult decision many abuse survivors with pets are forced to make: stay with an abuser or leave a beloved pet behind. It seemed unfair that pets, who may be the only source of unconditional love and support for a survivor, weren’t considered. So, we decided to help.

Since then, Purina helped one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the U.S. to become a leading voice and shining example of pet-friendly sheltering. We also helped create the PAWS Act Coalition in support of the Pets and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which helps domestic abuse survivors and their pets by advocating for federal resources.

Today, our goal is to help ensure at least 25 percent of U.S. domestic violence shelters offer pet-friendly services by the end of 2025. We’ve already provided grants to 39 shelters across the country, and every state now has at least one pet-friendly shelter, but our long-term goal is to fundamentally change the landscape of domestic violence services for survivors with pets, so no survivor has to choose between their own safety and the safety of their pet.

The Purple Leash Symbol

The Purple Leash Symbol

The purple leash serves as a symbol of the invisible struggle domestic abuse survivors and their pets face. Purple represents domestic violence awareness, and the leash symbolizes the unbreakable bond between pets and their people.

Purina and Red Rover

Red Rover

RedRover has done amazing work over the last 16 years to change how domestic violence shelters and service providers serve domestic abuse survivors and their pets.

A woman petting a dog and touching faces with a cat. The 'Purple Leash Project' ribbon overlaid on the left side of the image.

The Color Purple & Domestic Violence Awareness

The color purple represents domestic violence awareness. During October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a purple ribbon is used to show symbolic support of domestic abuse survivors. People are also encouraged to wear purple on Purple Thursday, October 19, 2023.

How You Can Help

Help us increase the number of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters nationwide.

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