Bow Wow Luau to benefit foster program for pets of abuse victims

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Carol Romine and Gertie were winners of the lookalike contest at the 2015 Bow Wow Luau. (Submitted photo)

Carol Romine and Gertie were winners of the lookalike contest at the 2015 Bow Wow Luau. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

Sixty-eight percent of abused women reported violence toward their animals from their abuser, according to Beacon of Hope Center for Women. Forty percent of domestic violence victims report they are afraid to leave the abusive situation for fear of what will happen to their pets.

Lilly’s Lighthouse Foster Pet Care Program seeks to alleviate those fears by offering temporary shelter for those pets.

The third annual Bow Wow Luau Fun Run/Walk, which benefits the foster pet care program, will start at 11 a.m. April 23 at Carmel Central Park, East Shelter. The run is a 5K and the walk is one mile.

Beacon of Hope Center for Women sponsors the Bow Wow Luau.

“Often you can’t take a pet into a shelter or emergency hotel stay,” said Leah Seigel, Beacon of Hope board member. “Our foster pet program matches those pets with foster families so the victim can get out and get the help that he or she needs.”

Seigel said the stay is usually about 30 days.

“It depends on the situation, and our foster families are usually flexible with that,” she said.

Seigel said Tracy Vatne was recently hired to be the coordinator the foster pet care program.

“Her full-time job is growing it and improving it,” Seigel said.

Sandy Ziebold was named as the Beacon of Hope president and CEO earlier this year.

The race registration will open at 10 a.m. and the festival will start at that time.

“We have a DJ that is coming, so there will be music,” Seigel said.

Most of the vendors are pet vendors, selling or giving away items. There will be food vendors as well, along with games and contests.

“We are encouraging owners to bring their pet along for either the run,” Seigel said. “I’m hoping to get my black lab to do the (5K run). We’ve been training for it. She just did the mile last year.”

For more, visit beaconofhopeindy.org/3rd-annual-bow-wow-luau.html.

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