April 19, 2012
Guest Blog By: Dan Beckmann
Batterers find many opportunites to seize control of the situation. Manipulation, coercion…even pets. Animals are used as leverage as a pre-emptive strike to gain control of their victim. And the statistics are alarming:
Nearly 90% of pets living in a violent home are either abused, or killed. Of the victims who survive abusive relationships and find refuge in shelters, 57% have had a pet killed. Which helps explain why half of domestic violence survivors will delay leaving – there’s been no safe place to keep their pets.
Harbor House is building a kennel. The first of its kind in Central Florida. The tractors have cleared the area and raked the ground. Concrete blocks stand at attention ten feet high, waiting to be laid into their proper places. A shelter of a different kind is on the way.
Most victims who seek shelter at Harbor House, come with nothing. Soon they can arrive with a little peace of mind – knowing, that not only will they be taken care of, but their pets will be provided for, as well. Aside from the Paws for Peace Kennel, a new Donation Center will also be attached, allowing for personal items to remain safe and secure. By removing the barriers domestic abuse victims encounter, this two-fold project aligns itself perfectly with Harbor House’s mission to end the cycle of domestic violence.
And there are many ways for you to get involved:
For a donation of $100, you can design a personalized tile, complete with a picture of your beloved pet and a personalized message.
- Visit www.harborhousefl.com and upload your favorite photograph of your pet.
- Write a 25 character personalized message.
- Submit your order and the 6X6 ceramic tile will be used to adorn the main entrance of the kennel.
- You can even order a duplicate to keep!
Your tile will be prominently placed right on the wall of the kennel so that all who benefit will share in the support provided by you and your pet.
All gifts to the PAWS Kennel are greatly needed and appreciated.
- All donations directly support the construction and operations of the PAWS Kennel!
- For a deeper impact, you and/or your organization can raise money to sponsor a room in the Kennel, such as the cat-run, patio,
visiting room, or even a pet kennel itself. A plaque will be displayed in your honor.
Join the PAWS for PEACE Walk:
Check out www.harborhousefl.com this summer to register your team.
About Dan Beckmann
Dan Beckmann is a Director of Photography, journalist and storyteller. A former staff editor, producer and cameraman for the Today Show, Dan has traveled across the globe, covering some of the biggest news stories of the last twenty years. Currently, he contributes regular Op Ed and My Word articles for the Orlando Sentinel, and writes a monthly column for the Homeless Coalition of Central Florida.