October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Purina and RedRover are using this time to highlight an aspect of domestic violence that can be overlooked: how it affects pets.
The pet company and animal rescue organization have partnered to create the Purple Leash Project, a program designed to raise awareness about the current resource gap for domestic abuse survivors with pets and to create solutions to resolve this issue.
One of the ways the Purple Leash Project strives to assists domestic abuse survivors with pets is with RedRover + Purina Purple Leash Project grants. Purina has committed over $500,000 to these grants, which are used to fund pet-friendly renovations at domestic abuse shelters across the United States.
Changes like these are crucial to assisting domestic abuse survivors with pets, since few domestic violence shelters in the United States have a place for animals.
“Unfortunately, only 10 percent of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. accept and house pets, and as a result over half of survivors choose to stay in abusive situations rather than leave their pet behind,” Maria Menounos, who has teamed up with Purple Leash Project to raise awareness about this troubling statistic, said.
Menounos recently visited Androscoggin County, Maine, to help the Purple Leash Project transform the Safe Voices shelter into the first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in the state. The celebrity animal lover was joined by trained volunteers and staff from GreaterGood.org‘s Rescue Rebuild program, who help Purple Leash Project make the pet-friendly, life-saving renovations their grants support.
“Nobody should have to choose between their own safety and the safety of their pets,” Menounos, a dog mom of three, added. “I’ve long been an advocate for pets and share Purina’s belief that pets and people are better together. That’s why I am humbled to join the Purple Leash Project and lend my voice for those who are suffering in silence with their pets by their side.”
Along with offering hands-on help in Maine, Menounos is also spreading the word on how all animal lovers can get involved in the important work the Purple Leash Project is doing.
Purina, Red Rover and Menounos are asking pet owners to “take the lead” and start a conversation about how domestic violence affects families with pets by taking a photo of themselves walking their pet, posting the picture to social media with the hashtag #PurpleLeashProject, and then challenging their friends to do the same.
Those interested in learning more ways they can support the Purple Leash Project, should visit the initiative’s website.