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Ways to Get Involved with the Purple Leash Project

Explore ways to get involved to support the Purple Leash Project and domestic abuse survivors and their pets in your own community. Plus, resources for survivors, veterinarians, domestic violence shelters and advocates.

For Help, Call the Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or Visit TheHotline.org

Ways You Can Get Involved & Support the Purple Leash Project

Here are ways you can get involved and be an advocate for domestic abuse survivors and their pets.

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Every donation helps supply shelters with items like pet beds, heaters and kennels—plus, it helps cover veterinary costs, too.

Woman petting a cat and a dog

Volunteer to Help

Volunteer at a domestic violence shelter in your community.

Woman petting a cat and a dog

Donate to a Shelter’s Wish List

Domestic violence shelters in your own community need items for survivors, ranging from clothing to bedding and other essential items.

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Reach Out to Get Help

If you or someone you know is being abused, call the Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-7233 (SAFE). You can also visit their website for more resources and support.


RedRover® + Purina Purple Leash Project grants, an extension of RedRover’s Safe Housing program, contribute to our goal of 25% of U.S. domestic violence shelters becoming pet-friendly by the end of 2025. Purple Leash Project grants, up to $60,000, are offered throughout the United States.

Applications are typically due on March 1, June 1 and September 1 of each year. Funding decisions will be made within 30 days of the application deadline.

To be eligible for a Purple Leash Project grant, applicants must be:

  • Recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Agencies with a primary mission of sheltering victims of domestic violence

Before applying for a grant, organizations/agencies should:

  • Be ready to start their project within 6 months or less
  • Have a detailed project plan and budget
  • Obtain a written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a local animal shelter
  • Identify a veterinary clinic or veterinarian partner
  • Ensure that the project meets all relevant animal ordinances and laws

Learn more and apply for a Purple Leash Project grant. Purple Leash Project grants will not be awarded for off-site boarding or housing, real estate acquisition, general operating costs or salaries. 

If your shelter is not able to house pets on-site, learn more about alternative pet-friendly programs.

If your domestic violence shelter isn’t ready to apply for a Purple Leash Project grant, here are some other resources to help you transform your shelter into a pet-friendly space:

If you or someone you know is being abused, call the Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-7233 (SAFE). 

You can also visit their website for more resources and support.

To find a pet-friendly domestic violence shelter near you, visit Safe Place for Pets.

As a veterinarian, it’s important for you to understand the link between animal abuse and domestic violence. 

Seventy-one percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported their abuser had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets as revenge or to psychologically control their victims.

As you’re evaluating pets, look for signs of the following:

  • Unexplained, repetitive injuries
  • Evidence of rib injuries
  • Low weight or low body condition score
  • Unexplained bruising, burns, stab wounds or poisoning
  • Fractures, especially multiple fractures or those occurring on multiple areas of the body or in different stages of healing
  • Neck wounds or an ingrown collar
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Display of fear of owner or people in general

Behaviors to note in the owner include:

  • History presented by owner is inconsistent with nature of injuries
  • Lack of concern or indifference
  • Consistent failure to follow up on treatment
  • Unexplained delay in seeking medical attention
  • Argumentative or aggressive
  • Other family members appear intimidated, apprehensive or deferential

Both the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offer guidelines around reporting animal abuse.

If you haven’t already done so, please reference our About page to learn about ways the Purple Leash Project is working to Take the Lead for survivors of domestic violence.

Other ways you can get involved and be an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and their pets:

How You Can Help

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

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