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There are many examples of major brands taking initiatives to impact pressing issues and influence policy independent of government action.Purina, a household name in pet food (your dog and cat heart them), is one of those companies. Purina recently partnered with RedRover, an organization that helps animals rescued from disasters or neglect, domestic violence victims seeking safety with their pets, and animals with life-threatening illnesses to launch the Purple Leash Project.

The Purple Leash Project is a grant program with the purple leash symbolizing both domestic violence awareness and the unbreakable bond between pets and their owners. “Today, only roughly 10 percent of domestic violence shelters in the US allow pets. And, sadly, nearly half of domestic violence victims won’t leave their abusers because they can’t bring their pet.” Says Nina Leigh Krueger, President of Purina.

Purina committed more than $500,000 over the next four years to establish grants. These grants are awarded on a biannual basis to provide funding and resources to transform domestic violence emergency shelters into safe spaces for survivors with pets. The project’s mission aims to address the lack of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters in the U.S. which create a barrier to victims seeking help. The goal is bringing at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter to every state.

As part of the PAWS Act Coalition, Purina has also worked alongside other for-profit and non-profit organizations to advocate for more and better protections and services for domestic violence victims and their pets. The coalition’s work was able to successfully secure authorization for the program in the Farm Bill and is working to secure funding for grants for pet-friendly domestic violence shelters through the appropriations process.

Expect to see some dogs around Washington as this direct advocacy with Congress continues including at the popular Congressional Baseball Game on June 26.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release on the Purple Leash Project here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8495251-purina-purple-leash-project-redrover-domestic-violence-shelter-pets/