Coming up on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, 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.

I participated in this event last year and I'm very excited to do it again. This walk is near and dear to me as this event was created in memory of a friend of mine who lost her life because of domestic violence. I'm looking forward to walking with my friends in memory of our dear friend Danielle.

Why participate?

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.

To learn how to participate, volunteer or become a business sponsor of BARKK To End The Silence visit