News 6 teams up with Harbor House ahead of Paws for Peace Walk

Donations benefit Paws for Peace Kennel

By Kelly Pepperman - Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - News 6 is working with Harbor House of Central Florida to get results against domestic violence.

A phone bank was held on Wednesday at News 6 studios to benefit the Harbor House Paws for Peace Walk. Donations will help create a comfortable space where survivors and their pets can heal and bond.

The phone bank raised $12,205.

The mission is to raise money for the program ahead of the annual walk, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, April 20 in Blue Jacket Park. News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth and reporter Erik Sandoval will host the event.

Harbor House CEO Michelle Sperzel will join the News 6 team Wednesday to explain the purpose of the organization and the correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse.

According to Harbor House, 48% of domestic abuse survivors delay leaving an abusive situation out of fear that their pets will be harmed. The shelter said nearly twice as many pets are abused or killed in violent households.

Paws for Peace Walk co-chair Ted Maines, with his Italian greyhound Donatella by his side, will join Sperzel to talk about why the annual event is so important to him and why he encourages the community to come out and join the walk.

You also have a chance to win four tickets to either an Orlando City or Orlando Pride game donated by Orlando City co-founder Kay Rawlins. For every $25 donated to Harbor House during the News 6 phone bank, a viewer’s name will be pulled from the raffle and placed into a hat for a chance to win the Orlando City Soccer Foundation four-pack.

Why are pets so important to Harbor House?

  • 48% of survivors delay leaving an abusive situation to protect their pets
  • 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

Where will your donations go?

  • Continued veterinary care at the Paws for Peace kennel
  • Adding indoor/outdoor carpets
  •  Adding pet-friendly furniture to the indoor spaces
  • Create more shade and play space by adding a canopy and comfortable seating
  • Improve the dog runs by adding shade, shelter, gravel and kennel flooring
  • All will provide a more comfortable space where owners and their pets can heal and bond, which is healthy for pets and the survivors temporarily residing at the Harbor House campus.

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