The first Walk for Whiskers, a charity event raising funds and awareness for domestic abuse and animal advocacy groups in the Bay Area, was held at Lakeside Park at Lake Merritt on Saturday morning. The cold temperatures and gusty winds had participants and volunteers–and even their pets–bundled up in sweaters and scarves as they made their way around the lake to show their support.
The event is one of many animal advocacy projects created by Alyssia Alexandria, the founder of My Darling Theo–a nonprofit aimed at providing support and guidance for pet owners.
“Women and children who are in domestic violence situations do much better if they can remain with their animals,” Alexandria said, addressing morning walkers and joggers at the lake. “Help kids, help pets, stay together.”
The event included a silent auction, free food and gifts for pets and their owners, music, and a free lunch with a live band at Zza’s Trattoria. Registered walkers were asked to make a monetary donation to one of 16 participating Bay Area organizations.