‘4 Paws, 2 Feet, 1 Team:’ Harbor House set for Paws for Peace Walk

News 6 teams up with domestic violence shelter

Paws for Peace

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 is once again teaming up with Harbor House of Central Florida for its annual Paws for Peace Walk.

The 12th Annual Paws for Peace Walk, scheduled for Saturday, April 29, is a leisurely stroll for families, friends and their pets -- all for a great cause.

On Monday, News 6 hosted a phone bank from 4 - 7:30 p.m. for Harbor House and the Paws for Peace Walk. For every $25 donated, donors became eligible for a Paolo Banchero autographed jersey.

Monday’s phone bank managed to raise a total of $7,265 with 116 calls taken.

Harbor House is a nonprofit state-certified domestic violence shelter near Orlando, operating a 24-hour crisis hotline, offering counseling and providing a 110-bed shelter for women, children and men.

The walk raises the necessary funds to keep the shelter’s kennel in operation; and in turn, keeps pets and their families safe. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to fund veterinary and kennel services for pets and their survivors staying in the short-term emergency housing at Harbor House.

This year’s theme is “4 Paws, 2 Feet, 1 Team,” so dressing your dog in sports/team attire is encouraged. Additional activities include dog lure chase, doggie scavenger hunt, Chilly Paws Doggie Ice Cream, Bow Wow Bar, yoga with your pet, bobbing for tennis balls, pet-focused vendors and more.

When pre-registering, there’ll be an opportunity to add a mystery bag for your dog or cat. A limited number of mystery bags will be sold at the event, as well.

A silent auction will be held, and there will also be an opportunity to have a pet featured on a hand-painted mural outside of the Paws for Peace Kennel located on Harbor House’s temporary emergency campus.

ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ANIMAL ABUSE: Every year, hundreds of participants walk to become a part of the solution by raising awareness about the impact of domestic abuse on pets and their owners. Harbor House is the only domestic violence organization in Central Florida to have an on-site kennel on its campus. Nationally, it’s part of the 15% of domestic violence shelters to accept pets.

Why is this important? Nearly half of victims stay in abusive situations rather than leave their pet behind. Additionally, 52% of survivors in shelters leave their pets with their abusers; and as many as 25% of survivors will return because the abuser is using the pet as a means to get the survivor back.

The Paws for Peace Kennel was an important addition to the shelter in 2012 because it removed this barrier for survivors. They no longer had to make the choice to leave their animal behind.

  • 65% of survivors’ delay leaving an abusive situation for fear their pets will be maimed or killed
  • 88% of pets living in domestic violence homes are either abused or killed
  • 71% of pet-owning women entering a safe haven reported their batterer had injured, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims

WHO: Harbor House of Central Florida, 300+ Central Florida residents and their dogs

WHAT: Harbor House of Central Florida’s 12th Annual Paws for Peace Walk

THEME: 4 Paws, 2 Feet, 1 Team

WHEN: Saturday, April 29, 2023 Registration begins at 8 a.m.; Walk starts at 9 a.m.

WHERE: Blue Jacket Park, Baldwin Park, 2501 General Rees Ave, Orlando (north corner of General Rees Ave and Lower Park Road).

REGISTRATION: A $35 donation includes a free T-shirt and doggie bandana. You can register here.