71% of pet-owning women entering women's shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims. Between 25% and 40% of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets should they leave. Very few domestic violence shelters are equipped to care for animals or will allow animals to accompany women and children seeking refuge.
The Purple Paw Project will house and care for pets belonging to victims of domestic violence while they are seeking refuge at local domestic violence shelters. When feasible and safe, victims and their children can visit their pets. Once the family is in a safe living situation, their pet is returned to them. The reassurance that their beloved pet is safe and cared for during these difficult circumstances provides peace of mind to both the victim and her children.
Victims of violence, both human and animal, will have the opportunity to heal physically and mentally as they are cared for in a safe, stable environment. Domestic violence victims will not have to endure additional abuse because they do not have a safe place to house their pets if they flee their abuser.