Shining a light on domestic violence


Last year I had the immense honor of being on hand when Jenny Dwyer’s Paw It Forward Foundation held its very first BARKK to end the Silence 5K Walk/Run/WOOF (I like to think I woofed as running is not my thing). This event, which was not expected to be the runaway hit that it was, raised a tidy sum of money to go towards the creation of a pet-friendly shelter for people affected by domestic violence.

And I’m thrilled to be coming back again this year to document the event and the people and pets standing up to this familial tragedy.

And there are no domestic violence shelters in Maine equipped to handle pets. And for many people struggling to survive the trauma of violence leaving the family pets behind is another trauma that many victims may not be able to handle.

Nationally, studies have shown that 48 percent of battered women delay leaving a dangerous situation due to fear for their pets’ safety. Abusers use pets as leverage to control their victim.

Last year 500 participants, people and pets alike, raised $7,000 to go towards a fund to help equip domestic violence shelters with special ventilation and training. Organizers expect to see a tremendous increase this year!

For more information, or to donate or to volunteer to help at the 5K run, call Mutt Nose Best at 207-262-8773 or [email protected]. You can also find information online at: and and

Resources For Help With Domestic Violence

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence – 1-866-83-4HELP/1-866-834-4357 –

Spruce Run – 1-800-863-9909 –

Next Step Domestic Violence Project – 800-315-5579 –

Read more about the ties between domestic violence and pets here:

Breaking barriers for escaping domestic violence –

Life After Leaving –

Mark your calendars:

BARKK…To End The Silence-5K Walk, Run Or WOOF! A Dog Friendly Dash –

September 27, 2014: Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., race starts at 10 a.m.

Bangor Waterfront