Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article listed an incorrect start time.
Some of Long Island’s cutest pups will be shaking their tails on the runway this Sunday for the much-anticipated Paws for a Cause dog fashion show fundraiser and adoption drive.
“We’re hosting it to draw attention to the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence,” said Jennifer Capezza, the director of development at Long Island Against Domestic Violence.
The idea is to provide a family-fun event that sets the tone for a serious conversation regarding domestic violence.
That conversation includes addressing factors that can propagate violence.
“Oftentimes, a victim will hesitate to leave [a domestic violence situation] if they can’t take their dog with them. The dog will then become the focus of the abuser’s rage,” Capezza explained.
As for the show, the dogs will be participating in categories that include Most Glamorous, Best Tail Wagger, Best Human/Pet Duo, Most Original Costume and Celebrity Look-a-Like.
The center director at the Boulton Center, Michelle Rizzo-Berg, said she jumped at the opportunity to provide a forum for such an event.
The first question she was asked was whether it was okay to invite dogs inside the downtown theater.
“Of course my first response was, absolutely,” she said.
Her own dog, Bailey, has since been chosen as this year’s spokespup.
“We certainly wanted to guarantee that [Long Island Against Domestic Violence] had a space they could use and feel comfortable in, while ensuring that those who are participating with their furry family members feel welcomed,” she said.
Long Island Against Domestic Violence is a shelter that works to provide specific needs to each individual domestic violence survivor.
So when it comes to a dog, the group works with local foster networks to ensure “the dog remains safe in a foster home for the length of the client’s stay with us,” Capezza said.
The organization operates these efforts with this saying in mind:
No one should have to choose between their own safety and that of their pet.
“Let’s have a fun, family event to get this message across and support the work of Long Island Against Domestic Violence,” Capezza said.
About five dogs from the Town of Islip Animal Shelter have been entered to walk in the fashion show.They are also available for adoption.
Tickets are sold at $15 each for adults and $10 each for children ten years old and under.
To purchase your tickets and find out more, visit the Paws for a Cause event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/175445606653712/