Purple Paw Project

Friends of Animals Utah is helping to break the cycle of violence by providing shelter for the often-overlooked members of families of domestic violence: the pets.

Most are unaware of an important issue affecting countless lives in our communities:  the strong connection between domestic violence and animal abuse, and the significant role the family pet can play in shaping victim decisions and outcomes.

These statistics, courtesy of ASPCA research, speak for themselves:

  • Up to 48% of battered women and their children delay leaving abusive situations for fear of what might happen to their animals;
  • Women who do seek safety at shelters are nearly 11 times more likely to report that their partner has hurt or killed their animals than women who have not experienced domestic abuse;
  • A study of women seeking temporary “safe haven” showed that 71% of those with companion animals reported that their partners had threatened, hurt, or killed their animals. It is well-documented that many abuse victims never even go to a shelter because they fear for the safety of the pets they must leave behind.
  • Victims who opt to flee with their pets can find themselves at a domestic violence shelters that is not able to accept pets, forcing them to decide between leaving their pets with friends and family (possibly endangering pets and humans alike) or relinquishing their beloved pet to a local shelter for adoption or possible euthanasia.

Heard enough?  We at Friends of Animals Utah have, and we are doing something about it.

Introducing The Purple Paw Project

We are proud to announce a new Friends of Animals Utah program dedicated to assuring that victims of domestic violence throughout Northern Utah will always be able to flee abuse households and bring their pet(s) with them to safety.

The Purple Paw Project provides a support service to domestic violence shelters which are unable to accept pets. We provide temporary shelter for the pets of victims of domestic violence, allowing survivors and their children to seek shelter, medical treatment and counseling, knowing that their pets are safe.

FOAU will provide free of charge board for the entire period that the client is a resident at the domestic violence shelter; food, water and medication administration; and daily socialization and exercise for the pet(s). FOAU will shelter the animals at a network of secure locations throughout the area. Initial capacity is estimated at 600 pets per year.

Not only are we delighted to be able to offer much-needed help to the victims of domestic violence and their children… but the opportunity to save animals from the misery of domestic violence is tremendously gratifying as well.

The Purple Paw Project is just the latest of the many essential services that Friends of Animals Utah staff and volunteers work tirelessly to offer the community.  Other programs include:

  • Rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of more than 1,000 cats and dogs each year from euthanasia shelters throughout Northern Utah;
  • Spay/neuter and humane treatment of animals education;
  • Critter Camps for kids;
  • Arts Kids Camps;
  • Senior Citizens Programs.

Please donate to Friends of Animals Utah today.  Help us make the world a better place for people and animals alike.

Thank you.


We give thanks to Banfield's Charitable Trust for the important grant they have bestowed on Friends of Animals Utah, in the name of our Purple Paw Project.

These funds will help us assist families with pets, in escaping abusive situations.
When you are providing care for your pets, please remember Banfield for their generous donation to this important cause!


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Are you an Amazon Shopper? Simply click the image above to add FOAU as your charity of choice, and 5% of your purchases will help the pets in our program find their forever homes!

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