Birthday “Pawty” Gala raises awareness for pet victims of domestic violence

Emily Christie took a personal experience and turned it into an idea to benefit the four-legged members of our society. Meaning “nonviolence” in Sanskrit, Christie started Ahimsa House to benefit the animals who are the unheard victims of domestic violence situations.

“It was a need,” recalled Christie, who got inspired to start Ahimsa from personal experiences. “When I first started Ahimsa, I sheltered and took care of the animals, and it has now grown to help people and their pets in unfortunate situations.”

In its third year, the nonprofit hosted the Birthday “Pawty” Gala on Saturday at Glenridge Hall to raise money and awareness for the organization that has provided more than 30,000 nights of safe shelter to animals since it was founded in 2004. Ahimsa House is the only organization in Georgia that fosters pets of domestic violence victims.

“About 50 percent of domestic violence victims do not leave because of their pets,” said gala chair Carole Baker. “Ahimsa allows victims to get out of their situations and also have a safe place for their four-legged family members to be safe as well.” After 60 days in foster care, the animals are reunited with their families.

In 2012, the nonprofit saw an 84 percent increase in demand for its services from 2011. The increase only means more needs for volunteers to help foster the mission of the agency that serves every county in Georgia. Instead of a shelter, the organization has boarding, veterinary, and foster family partners in order to maximize it’s aid to victims and their pets in the state.

“We always need more foster families, help in outreach, and people who can transport the pets to reunite the families,” said Maya Gupta, executive director of Ahimsa House. “Everything that has been done for our families and pets has been because of our volunteers and community.”

When she saw over 200 people attend the Birthday “Pawty” Gala, Christie was proud to see her idea become a success for families and pets. “I had a survivor once tell me that because of my idea, a life was saved,” she recalled. “That moment and knowing that families and pets are helped through Ahimsa really outweigh the negative with the positive.”

To volunteer with Ahimsa House, visit www.ahimsahouse.org

In other news: Three Piece Suit Football (TPSF) raised over $3,300 for Operation Homefront- Georgia to benefit returning veterans and servicemen in Georgia on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. Three Piece Suit Football, LLC plays a game of tackle football on Super Bowl Sunday while wearing three-piece suits. The game originated at Piedmont Park of Atlanta, and is currently played at Boulevard Crossing Park in the Grant Park area. Operation Homefront Georgia Operation Homefront Georgia provides emergency and morale assistance to military families during deployment and wounded warriors when they return home

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