On the south side of St. Cloud, 2019 will come to a close with an event designed to help victims of domestic violence in 2020 and beyond.

This Sunday from 2-5 p.m., Paws Against Domestic Violence will hold a kickoff “PAWty” at the facilities of Marsoc’s K-9 Training Facility at 4365 Rambler Avenue (it’s off Mildred Bass Road as you head south on Canoe Creek Road from Old Canoe Creek and points north).

PADV is non-profit that provides service dogs to victims of domestic violence as part of its mission to provide the strength needed to put their lives back with the support of man’s best friend.

Kay Schreiner, the force behind the organization and a survivor of domestic violence herself, runs Marsoc’s. She identifies dogs, provides them with proper training to certify them as emotional support and service dogs, then pairs those dogs with survivors in order to have the emotional support to overcome their past and supports a new future with man’s best friend.

“They haven’t told their own families or friends about their problems, but they’re reaching out to us to figure out who they can get past this, because they’re struggling and losing their identity, having a hard time with going shopping or the holidays,” she said. “What better than have a service dog by your said to had that support when you have those panic or anxiety attacks.”

Saturday’s event features over 25 vendors, a bounce house for the kids, DJ entertainment for everyone, and food sponsored by Graffiti Junktion Lake Nona. But, more importantly Schreiner, will present the first two PADV-trained support dogs.

“Those dogs have been excellent,” Schreiner said. “Soon we’ll begin the application program to find their forever homes.”

Help Now of Osceola County, a local agency working to get domestic violence victims into a violence-free future, will also be on hand.