It was great to be back at Global Pet Expo and Nestle Purina Petcare was back in a big way with a petnormous booth (complying with social distancing, etc.) topped by a giant pet food bowl and once again hosted its annual Media Reception to the delight of all media. At the reception Purina recognized all media representatives for their work during the pandemic instead of recognizing one individual for the Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry award. Courtney Campbell, DVM, DACVS-SA received the award in 2020. Also at the reception, Purina and the American Pet Products Association (APPA) presented the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando with a $10,000 donation on behalf of all the media representatives. The funds will be used to rebuild the shelter destroyed by fire last year.
At the booth, Purina touted its new products (more on that shortly) but also on display at the Purina booth was a large graphic for the Purple Leash Project. In February, Purina and the nonprofit RedRover announced the awarding of five Purple Leash Project grants to help local domestic violence shelters make pet-friendly transformations. The latest grant recipients include The Spring in Tulsa County, Oklahoma; Sojourner House in Providence County, Rhode Island; Services to Abused Families in Culpeper County, Virginia; Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County Inc in Greene County, Ohio and YWCA of Bradford in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Funding will provide pet-friendly upgrades and resources to survivors and their pets at each shelter, including outdoor pet play yards, kennels, supplies and veterinary care.
Through the Purple Leash Project, Purina and RedRover are working to create more pet-friendly shelters and provide more resources so that survivors with pets can escape abuse and heal together. Currently only 15% of domestic violence shelters in the United States allow pets and almost half of abuse survivors (48%) will delay leaving their abuser if they can’t take their pet with them into a shelter.
“The Purple Leash Project is focused on easing a survivor’s decision to leave abuse,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and President of Purina. “Knowing that there are resources available to them and their four-legged family members aides in their decision to leave. By working together with RedRover, we’ve helped to provide more than 33,000 safe nights for domestic abuse survivors and their pets with much more work to be done.”
With this latest round of funding, 30 grants totaling more than $500,000 have now been gifted to domestic violence shelters across the US by Purina. Since the Purple Leash Project was founded in 2019, Purina has provided more than $1 million in funding and is working together with RedRover toward a goal of helping to ensure that at least 25% of domestic violence shelters are pet-friendly by 2025.
Each domestic violence shelter will use the Purple Leash Project grants to fund projects and services unique to the needs of their location:
- Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County Inc in Green County, Ohio will receive $46,055 to build on-site kennels and create an outdoor fenced-in play area, remaining funds will go toward pet supplies, laundry supplies and air purifiers for bedrooms and their indoor dog room.
- Sojourner House in Providence County, Rhode Island will receive $21,800 to house pets at one of their three shelters and foster care through the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA). Remaining funds will be allocated for veterinary care, food, pet deposits and transportation.
- YWCA of Bradford in McKean County, Pennsylvania will receive $19,000 to create a separate building on the property to house pets so that their owners can be close and care for them, all while accommodating survivors who may be allergic to dogs or cats.
- The Spring in Tulsa County, Oklahoma will receive $10,000 to build kennels, a visitation area, and an outdoor play area, the remaining funds will go toward a new HVAC system.
- Services to Abused Families in Culpeper County, Virginia will receive $7,950 to renovate the barn on the property to house dogs and cats and create a bathing station for the pets to stay clean and sanitary during their stay.
“We are so grateful for Purina, RedRover and the Purple Leash Project for providing funds that allow us to build a safe haven for animals whose owners are fleeing a domestic violence situation,” said Shelley Alcorn, Program Director of the YWCA of Bradford. “We often hear of abusers threatening to harm pets if a survivor chooses to leave. Now, we can ensure the safety of survivors and their animals. Our program team is very excited to begin this adventure as our community can vastly benefit from these resources.”
If you know someone who is being abused and ready to leave with their pet, they can find information on pet-friendly shelters in their area at www.SafePlaceForPets.org.