I want to talk to you for a moment about an important topic. Through my day job at the Bangor Daily News’s Special Sections Department, I have the privilege of meeting lots of interesting people and hearing lots of stories. Most of them are happy stories, while some are not.
Some start out heartwrenching but turn inspiring. I had the honor of hearing one of those stories in May. It turned into a major two-part series posted in the BDN’s weekly publication aptly named, “The Weekly.”
It started when I spoke with Jenny Dwyer, co-owner of Mutt Nose Best. She has an amazing business creating eco and pet-friendly grooming products for dogs that people can also use. Her business is amazing! You should check it out here.
Then, she mentioned that her business was starting a non-profit organization to pay it forward. One initiative the “Through My Dog’s Eyes” foundation tackles is raising money to provide grants to domestic violence shelters to equip them to be pet-friendly. The foundation will be holding a 5K walk/run/woof on September 28, 2013, called BARKK to End the Silence.
She shared her story with me. I know that she will go far. I’ll post the article as soon as it is published so you can read about her amazing story and the work she’ll be doing.
Domestic Violence is Important to Address
Jenny isn’t alone. Nationally, studies have shown that 48% of battered women delay leaving a dangerous situation due to fear for their pets’ safety. This topic is an important one to discuss.
However, the link between violence against family animals and domestic violence is well-researched. Animal abuse is one of five markers for violent behavior against humans. In children, it’s even more crucial to pay attention if they either hurt an animal or are being abused themselves.
I set out on a mission to understand the issue more. I’m going to share the two stories I wrote for “The Weekly” with you. I’m continuing to look into the connection between domestic violence and violence against animals.
Here’s What You Need to Know
It is never okay for anyone to hurt you, physically, emotionally, or mentally. It is never okay for them to use your pet as a pawn or outlet for expressing their feelings. It is never okay for an animal to be hurt or killed as vengeance or penance.
If you know someone, their pets, or children experiencing this, there are resources. I hope my columns can be a resource as well. If you have a story, anecdote, or resource you want to share, please email me at [email protected] or comment on this blog.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357 or TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and accessible from anywhere in Maine.