The Mutt Nose Best Paw It Forward Foundation will hold the 2nd Annual BARKK To End The Silence Dog Friendly 5K to raise awareness of the link between animal abuse and domestic violence. The $30 race registration will help provide the funding needed to equip the FIRST domestic violence shelter in the state of Maine with pet friendly accommodations.
Domestic violence is a silent burden that many suffer alone; in that isolation many turn to their pets as their source of love, loyalty and companionship. Abusers often use this sacred bond to control and intimidate their victims. Sadly, 71 percent of pet-owners entering shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; unfortunately the cycle continues with 32 percent reporting their children had gone on to hurt or kill animals.
In a staggering 88% of families where violence is an issue animals are also abused. However, currently in the state of Maine there are NO domestic violence shelters equipped to house families and the pets together. Up to 65 percent of domestic violence victims with pets stay in dangerous situations longer because they have no where to flee with them and they are concerned about what will happen to their pet if they leave it behind. This roadblock sometimes turns deadly.
The BARKK initiative arose from Mutt Nose Best owner Jenny Dwyer’s real life experience. “A personal tragedy opened my eyes to the fact that there are no shelters in Maine where families can flee with their animals. For many, like myself leaving my pets behind was not an option yet I had nowhere I could go with them, so what did I do? I stayed longer than I should have. Tragically, years later, the same man who abused me went on to murder his wife and then kill himself. The realization that it could have been me propelled me to take action. I do what I do in her name and I have vowed to turn the tragic circumstances of Dani’s death into the catalyst of a movement that will help many.” stated Dwyer at last years BARKK 5K.
The Mutt Nose Best Paw It Forward Foundation is committed to advocating for the animal victims of domestic violence and their humans. Our goals are to raise awareness with educational programs, promote community resources and most importantly provide funding grants for existing domestic violence shelters to create pet friendly accommodations as part of the resources they are able to offer. We encourage domestic violence shelters to contact Mutt Nose Best for grant information and an application.
Mutt Nose Best hopes to eliminate the heartbreaking instances of families having to choose between their safety and the animals they love.