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Purple Leash Project: What It Is & Why It Is So Important

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat wearing a purple leash and harness

Purple Leash Project: What It Is & Why It Is So Important

We likely all know a victim of domestic violence and are familiar with the devastation that comes with it. Survivors know all too well the heartache of leaving behind things they love, especially their pets.

When someone finds themselves in crisis, attempting to save their own lives by fleeing an abusive situation, there is next to no help for pet owners. Many abusers also use pets as a mechanism to control their victims.

The Purple Leash Project Aims to change that.

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About the Purple Leash Project

The Purple Leash Project was founded by Purina and Red Rover—two very influential names in the pet world. Each association saw a direct need to help fund and rally for abused pet owners and plan to help in different aspects. Purple is the universal color for domestic violence, which is how the Purple Leash Project got its name.

Purina wished to keep pets and their owners together. Purina partnered with PAWS Act Coalition in support of the Pets and Woman Safety Act, giving those in need federal resources to keep pets. RedRover was on a mission to take pets and their parents from “crisis to care.”

The aim is to ensure 25% of all U.S. domestic violence shelters offer some type of pet-friendly services to abuse survivors. They believe no abuse victim should have to choose between their safety and their pet—they should be able to have both. We can’t say we disagree.

Currently, the cause has given grants to over 48 shelters across America. Now, each state in the contiguous US has one pet-friendly shelter.

several cats in a shelter
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

Why Is the Purple Leash Project Important?

Here are some alarming statistics about domestic abuse and pets that you likely don’t know in order to understand the importance of the Purple Leash Project.

  • One in three women and one in four men experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime.
  • Only an astonishing 19% of domestic violence shelters across America except pets.
  • Statistically, 48% of domestic abuse survivors report not having left sooner because they couldn’t take their pets with them.
  • Women in domestic violence shelters have reported over 70% of the time that their abuser threatened, injured, or killed their pets to control them.

The Complication of Retaining Pets

Women and men who are abused often don’t have any support when it comes to taking their pets with them. If they don’t stay with friends or family, they wind up in abuse shelters, and most don’t accept any pets.

When places start to accept pets, things can get sticky. Not all pets are compatible with communal living and resources must be available to these shelters to accommodate less social animals.

There are many different aspects of help for pet owners in these circumstances. It certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation, and there are different creative ideas that shelters can implement to help abuse victims in their area.

Together, we can all make a difference by offering more services to those in need.

Donating to the Cause

The Purple Leash Project’s website has information about donating to the cause. You can also contact the company to get any questions answered and donate the amount you choose. Even a little bit can go a long way and make a huge difference!

Hand holding credit card and using laptop
Image Credit: Kite_rin, Shutterstock

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We certainly believe in the Purple Leash Project! No one should have to choose to abandon their pet or stay in a less than favorable situation. We need to support each other more at every turn, especially involving the care of our pets as they are our family too!

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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