A few years ago, I had the opportunity to be a forensic extern and assist in many cases in which pet owners were the victims of domestic violence. In some cases, pets were left behind or used to threaten or intimidate the victim. In other cases, pets were physically injured and became victims themselves. These cases were devastating and heartbreaking, and I wished they could have received more help.
Recently, however, I found out about a great project that helps victims of domestic violence. The Purple Leash Project was launched in 2019 as a partnership between Purina and RedRover; their mission was to raise awareness and increase the number of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters within the United States.
Not only does the Purple Leash Project advocate for domestic violence survivors and their pets, but the partnership also advocates for improved access to pet-friendly resources by:
- Providing training and educational resources
- Supplying grants to help shelters create pet housing programs
- Promoting awareness surrounding the lack of pet housing within shelters
- Gathering volunteers to create pet-friendly housing areas within shelters
In addition to the Purple Leash Project, RedRover created another project called Don’t Forget the Pets. This partnership with Greater Good Charities’ Rescue Rebuild program aims to assist people and pets in crisis by creating sustainable shelter programs for people and pets in need. Their mission is to share knowledge on fundraising, human services, and animal welfare insights, thereby helping organizations who serve homeless populations and survivors of domestic violence.
Don’t Forget the Pets provides a lot of great resources such as:
- A discussion forum where representatives from domestic violence shelters, veterinary professionals, and vet techs can join and support one another. Some of the topics covered in the forum are housing strategies, policies/procedures, fundraising ideas, program evaluation, and more.
- In-person and virtual training workshops.
- A training handbook with a step-by-step guide through the phases of creating a pet-friendly place for humans and animals.
After learning more about these projects, I’ve decided to join Don’t Forget the Pets’ online training and use my role within my community to raise awareness and support these programs. It’s always a good time to support animals and people in need.
Read more by Maria.