Domestic Violence Victims Escape WITH Their Pets!

My eye was swollen shut. I was bloody and bruised from head to toe. A police officer took my statement as I sat silently crying in the Emergency Room. I had never felt so low. I just wanted to die then and there, but that wasn’t my first trip under these circumstances. I knew my abuser was at home, alone, with my cat – my baby. That thought consumed me. I knew I had to get home to save her. If he would do this to me, what would he do to her? – Shawna, 2015 domestic violence survivor

Shawna & her cat Sammi!

Shawna & her cat Sammi: they are happily living a safe new life together!

Pets are such a tremendous part of our lives: a constant support group, unconditional love, a source of stability & emotional well-being. It should be no surprise that an estimated 48% of domestic violence victims stay with their abusers in order to stay with their beloved pets. Abusers also know the bond between their victims & their pets, often time using them as leverage against their victims and threatening violence against the pets.  This phenomenon has been reported by more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelters. This is a national struggle that knows no race, social class, or status and anyone can fall victim. Purina, a proud sponsor of the Mulligan Movement, has taken this crisis to heart & reaches out to make a difference.

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Manhattan’s Urban Resource Institute (URI) and Nestle Purina met on October 13, 2015 to open Manhattan’s first-ever dog park within a Domestic Violence Shelter – The Purina Pet Haven. The dog park is located at Urban Women’s Retreat (UWR), which is part of the URIPALS (People and Animals Living Safely) program. URIPALS is the only program of its kind in New York City, and one of the few nationally, that allows for domestic violence victims to live in shelter with their pets!

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Purina, however, has been a long time supporter of survivors of domestic violence and their pets. Purina also sponsored the creation of the Purina Play Haven at URI’s Safe Haven shelter in Brooklyn back in 2014, the first-ever dog park at a domestic violence shelter in New York City {see video below}. To date, URIPALS has helped 43 families and 63 pets! When these statistics are broken down, that is 38 cats, 18 dogs and a variety of other pets such as reptiles & fish who have been potentially saved from danger! Every pet matters!

Purina also wants to continue to make sure that domestic violence victims don’t have to worry about providing for their loved ones, as they have enough to worry about during their transition. At the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Purina showed their passion for this cause by donating Purina ONE dog food, Purina Cat Chow, as well as many other dog treats & cat litter. Purina has committed to continue to work with URI to provide supplies that will be used to create welcome kits for families entering the shelter with their pets. These supplies consist of pet travel carriers, safety gates, pet beds, food & water bowls, scratching post, leashes toys & more!

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Purina has always stated their belief that people and pets are better together! URI & Purina hope that their efforts will help reduce the barriers and struggles for families of domestic violence on their journey to safety. Together they hope to continue to raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence and furthermore the abuse that can spread to the entire family – pets count too!


Purina is a company that I couldn’t be more proud to stand behind! Their continued support & sponsorship of Mulli and the Mulligan Movement, alongside the many ways they display their strong moral fiber in the community, shows they’re a company I can proudly partner with!

With love, hugs & belly rubs,

Lindsay & Mulligan

2 thoughts on “Domestic Violence Victims Escape WITH Their Pets!

  1. Wow Shawna,
    It was a very brave thing you did sharing your story here. I am sure this will help others come forward to share their stories as well. You’re a beautiful, smart, caring young lady. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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