Tiki Paw-ty highlights heartbreaking pet stories that sparked movements

Canton, Md. (WMAR) -

The heartbreak of losing a pet is fueling a strong movement across Baltimore.

On Wednesday night three organizations came together at Southern Provisions in Canton for a Tiki Paw-ty charity event.

The event was put together by Sarah Gossard, who lost her Shar Pei Nala four years ago.

“It’s really hard to lose a pet and especially in such a tragic way,” Gossard said

Nala was killed by a Baltimore City Police Officer causing an outcry for proper training for officers who aren’t familiar with animals.

“I’ve tried to really hard to bring something positive out of this.”

The donations will go towards the Maryland SPCA, Charm City Companions, and Finding Knox.

Finding Knox started after Kaitlyn Thomas’ dog Equinox was stolen from her home in 2016.

“That moment when I realized he wasn’t there was like crushing,” Thomas said. “Ya know it felt like everything was gone.”

It was the longest 72 hours of her life, but Knox made it home thanks to an outpouring of love from the community.

Now reunited they work together to make sure no one else feels their pain.

 “We micro chipped dogs in the city at clinics and through community outreach both Charm City Companions throughout the year,” said Thomas. “Last year we micro chipped over 400 dogs for free and registered them for free.”

Katie Flory the Maryland SPCA Community Relations Director said efforts like these are making things better.

Every Baltimore City Police officer now goes through animal handling training.

“They know now what they can do the tools that they have in their box,” Flory said.  “I think the city really is taking this seriously. The Mayors anti animal abuse advisory commission has been working really hard to make recommendations to the mayor to make suggestions on what more could be done.”

A night of fun,turning tragedies into change.

 “I like to stir things up and have these events and talk about it as much as possible so that people remember it and remember what happened,” Gossard said. “Hopefully it doesn’t happen as much in the future.”

These links have more on Finding Knox, Maryland SPCA, and Charm City Companions.

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