The first Bark Out Against Battering Pet Fest was held in October 2010. The event, which is hosted by a group of social services agencies including the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, Women Helping Women and the SPCA. Together, they’re called “Bark Out Against Battering,” and aim to educate others in Greater Cincinnati on the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence.
“Our main project is putting on the Bark Out Against Battering Pet Fest every year at Washington Park in Cincinnati,” says Emily Kuchey, shelter manager of the domestic violence shelter at the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati.
The event, Kuchey says, was inspired by the Domestic Violence Vigil Committee as an opportunity to make connections about how survivors’ pets are often a factor that’s overlooked in many domestic violence cases.
According to Kuchey, the goal of Bark Out Against Battering is to bring awareness to various pet-related domestic violence issues, such as how abusers often use pets to control survivors. That’s why, Kuchey says, Bark Out Against Battering provides information about providing safe shelter to pets when survivors are leaving domestic violence situations.
This year’s 6th annual Bark Out Against Battering Pet Fest will be held October 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Washington Park. There is no cost to attend the Pet Fest. Guests can bring their furry four-legged friends for a pet costume contest. Winners for the costume contest will be chosen on cuteness factor, costume creativity and the best human/canine combo in three categories including Top Dog, Best in Show and Best in Breed.
There will also be pet- and social service-related vendors in attendance. Don’t forget to stick around for the parade, doggy trick-or-treating, the Ruff Ruff Raffle, pet portraits and tons more.