Androscoggin County, Maine (August 6 – 10, 2019) – We’re thrilled to announce that $40,000 in grants provided by the Purple Leash Project and will allow Safe Voices to become the FIRST pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in the state of Maine! The Purple Leash Project is a partnership between RedRover and Purina with a goal of ensuring there is at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in every state by the end of 2020, and the Safe Voices transformation checks the state of Maine off of the list, leaving only five states remaining – Hawaii, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

RedRover is teaming up with Rescue Rebuild, a program of, to help transform Safe Voices into a pet-friendly domestic violence shelter. Rescue Rebuild repairs and renovates domestic violence shelters and animal shelters in need. In collaboration with Purina, RedRover’s Purple Leash Project Safe Housing grants are provided to domestic violence shelters so they can build pet-friendly, co-sheltering spaces for survivors with pets, allowing them to escape abuse and heal together. Currently only roughly 10% of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. allow pets.

“RedRover is excited to help Safe Voices become a safe haven for pets with The Purple Leash project grant. This partnership with Purina enables us to give grants to more domestic violence shelters, enabling more survivors and their pets to escape abuse together,” said Nicole Forsyth, president and CEO of RedRover.

This is the sixth time RedRover and Rescue Rebuild have partnered together to transform a domestic violence shelter. The build at Safe Voices also marks a milestone for RedRover as the organization’s 100th Safe Housing grant recipient.

“Building spaces for domestic violence survivors and their pets brings victims, both two and four-legged, one step closer to recovering and reclaiming their lives. It is going to take an army to ensure that no victim is ever left with no safe place to go. Rescue Rebuild is so happy to be partnering with Purina and RedRover to help Maine achieve that goal,” said Bryna Donnelly, director of Rescue Rebuild.

RedRover also supports domestic violence shelters by sending their volunteers to help drive Rescue Rebuild’s projects, designs and construction expertise. Over five days, the combined team will install fencing for a dog play yard, pour new sidewalk, build dog kennels, install dog waste station and doggy doors, create cat enrichment projects such as cat bridges and cat shelving and more. RedRover Responders volunteers are travelling from Ontario, Canada; New Jersey; and Maryland to help with this special shelter build. A volunteer team from Purina will join the effort later in the month to put finishing touches on the project.

“We know abusers will often use threats of harm or actual violence toward animals to control their partners. Concern for the safety of a beloved family pet may prevent a victim from leaving an abusive situation all together,” said Elise Johansen, executive director of Safe Voices. “Making our shelter space more accessible for people with pets allows us to help more families in need.”

About RedRover

Since 1987, RedRover has focused on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the human-animal bond through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and humane education. Through their RedRover Relief program, they have helped thousands of animals and provided thousands of safe nights across the United States. With more than 4,000 trained volunteers in the United States and Canada, RedRover can deploy its volunteers quickly when communities become overburdened by a crisis involving large numbers of animals or to help a domestic violence shelter build pet-friendly spaces onsite. To learn how RedRover is building a more compassionate future, visit

About Purina

Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness. Subscribe here to get the latest Purina news.

About is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. Over the last 10 years, has given more than $175 million in cash, and in-kind grants to over 5,000 charitable partners worldwide.’s Rescue Rebuild is a renovation program that builds animal spaces at animal shelters, wildlife sanctuaries, domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters. The program recruits volunteers from all over the country to help pets and people in need.

About Safe Voices

Safe Voices is the domestic violence resource center serving Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties in Maine. Established in 1977, Safe Voices offers emergency shelter and housing services, a 24-hour Helpline, civil and criminal court advocacy, support groups, community education and a Violence Intervention Program for people who choose to abuse.

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Sheri Madsen
916.429.2457 ext. 310
916.600.8157 cell

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