At Purina, we believe that pets and people are better together. I know that my own dog, Stew, has definitely made my life better, and I cannot imagine being faced with a decision to choose between his safety or my own. Unfortunately, that decision is being made every day by domestic abuse victims who want to leave but can’t because there’s no safe place to go with their pets. Today, only 10% of domestic violence shelters in the United States allow pets. We want to change that.
For more than a year now, Purina has partnered with the national nonprofit RedRover on our Purple Leash Project – aimed at raising awareness and increasing the number of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters in the United States. Purina has committed more than $500,000 to create Purina Purple Leash Project grants to fund pet-friendly renovations at domestic abuse shelters across the country. In addition to offering grant support for shelter upgrades, Purina is donating pet food, supplies and other resources for pet owners escaping abuse. We’re also advocating in D.C. for more federal resources for domestic abuse survivors with pets.
Because there is such a limited number of domestic violence shelters in the United States that allow pets, many abuse victims are left with a heart-wrenching decision – stay in abusive situations with their pets or leave their pets behind to face the abuser alone. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 71% of pet owners entering domestic violence shelters report that their abuser had threatened, injured or killed family pets. This is why nearly half of survivors will delay leaving abuse if they cannot take their pets with them.
Throughout 2020, Purina and its associates will be working to bring more awareness to this issue and increase the number of pet-friendly shelters across the country, and I would like to challenge you to join us. Here are three ways you can help us raise awareness of the need for more pet-friendly domestic violence shelters across the country: