A dog can be a woman’s best friend, too.
Just ask Pooch Pack Adventures, a Nanaimo-based dog walking company that managed to photograph 55 dogs on a log last week, all for a good cause.
The photo snapped on Wednesday, March 30th, is turning heads and helping to raise big funds for pets of women fleeing domestic violence—with proceeds also going to the non-profit Haven Society.
“We did it to catch attention and draw awareness to this hidden deep dark secret of domestic violence behind closed doors,” Pooch Pack owner Kim Sirett told Victoria Buzz.
According to Sirett, data shows domestic violence victims who own pets stay in abusive relationships for longer for the sake of their four-legged friends.
In fact, a 2015 University of Windsor study found up to 88% of victims delayed fleeing domestic violence due to pet safety concerns, and because shelters often have limited resources and no space for pets.
“There’s so much of it going on and for victims who are stuck in these situations, owning pets makes it that much more difficult to move on,” said Sirett.
Stories of struggles ultimately pushed Sirett and her colleagues to take a creative stand, trekking into a forest south of town and finding a log long enough to sit the pack of dogs on top of.
“That’s a long stretch of dogs,” Sirett laughed.
“With 55 dogs and five of us, we each took our share and just worked as a team to get them all up. And they knew—they just knew it was time for their group photo.”
But it wasn’t easy.
Sirett says they had to stand back about 120 feet to get out of the photo’s frame. “That’s the big challenge there. It’s was probably a good five or six minutes, and that’s a long sit for a lot of the dogs,” she said.
Still, the photo turned out a success and is raking in thousands of dollars through print sales, plus over $3,500 through an online GoFundMe page.
“The campaign proceeds will go towards providing compassionate boarding, food and supplies for these pets while families are getting support, counselling, shelter and trying to get re-established,” states the GoFundMe.
“Some of the funds will also be used to provide awareness to victims so that they know that they have these options.”
Sirett asks those interested in purchasing a photo print of their own to check out the Pooch Pack Adventures Facebook page for more details.
To donate to the company’s GoFundMe fundraiser, click here.