Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pet Animal Welfare Society - Blog the Change for Animals #BtC4A

Today is Blog the Change for Animals day, a day when Bloggers are encouraged to spread the word about helping animals and to inspire others to do the same. Today I’ve chosen to write about Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk, CT, also known as PAWS. 

Apricat. Yes, her name is Aprica-CAT. 







I’ve become quite smitten with many of the cats who are featured on the Animal Shelter Volunteer Life blog, which is run by my blogging friends Kevin Hattori and his wife, Tracey Peden-Hattori. When I asked Kevin if I could have a tour of PAWS, he was more than happy to oblige. My friend Jenna joined me, and the entire staff welcomed us with open arms. (In 2014 PAWS took a friendly stray that Jenna had been taking care of. Mia has since been adopted.)



Life at PAWS

PAWS is currently home to about 90 cats and kittens in-house with another 30 or so in foster. The shelter rescues and re-homes more than 500 cats and dogs every year. That number is quite impressive! Five hundred souls who either faced euthanasia at local pounds, were abandoned and roamed the streets, or were relinquished by their owners who are no longer able to care for them. Adoption coordinators Ellen Emerson (for cats) and Lisa Barnett (for dogs) and their team of volunteer adoption counselors work very hard to find the right pet for every home and the right home for every pet.


The Adoption Board for June!

I love the building! When you first arrive, there is a lovely sitting area with benches surrounded by memorial bricks. 

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

The entryway is decorated with beautiful portraits of PAWS alumni. Portraits also adorn the walls throughout the shelter.

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

PAWS has five open rooms where the cats live in a cage-free environment that are catified for their comfort and pleasure. Volunteer Maggie Swanson  and her husband, Rick, are the creative talent behind this project. This room...

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

...was featured in Jackson Galaxy’s book Catify to Satisfy.

The other rooms are lovely as well. Lola and Lexy would love to have a room like one of these in our apartment! 

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk



PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

There are also four rooms in which the cats are in cages for part of the day because of medical or behavioral issues, needing special diets, still being acclimated to the shelter environment, etc. Kevin and Tracey started a rotation schedule for the cats to have more time out of their cages. 

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Cleo

Kevin explained to me that “Tracey and I came up with the idea to ensure that each and every cat in the cage rooms gets the same opportunity for some "out" time, to stretch, explore, play, relax, or whatever else it chooses to do. Prior to implementing these rotation schedules, we found that some cats (usually, the ones who were more social/friendly) were getting more time out than others. Whoever gets to the shelter first starts the schedule that lists each cat and the specific times its cage will be open. For instance, if the first volunteer gets there, and there are 8 hours until closing, a room with 6 cats would have a schedule where each cat is out for an hour and 20 minutes. After it has been out for its allotted time, a cat is placed back in its cage, and the next cat listed gets its turn. If there are cats in those rooms who get along, they can be out together, meaning less switches in the rotation, and more out time for all between switches. The schedule is written on the dry erase boards found in each room."

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Gabe, who has a special relationship with Tracey.

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Gabe's cage that was donated to PAWS

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Zatz


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Zatz can often be found watching Bird TV on the computer.
PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
I captured this beautiful photo of Zatz and I thought three photos of her could never be enough!

I’m always impressed with a shelter when its rooms are clean, there are no odors, and the cats look very well cared for. PAWS did not disappoint! This shelter is impressive on the surface, and underneath there is an abundance of love and respect for each cat. There are ample cuddles, chin scratches, and play time for all. And it all comes from the heart.


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Acari


Onsite Medical Care

A veterinarian is on site on Tuesdays to carry out combo tests, administer rabies & distemper shots, and perform neutering of male cats. She is currently limited in what she can do, as PAWS does not yet have the oxygen supply hooked up for use in the medical room. The shelter has agreements with local veterinarians for additional services.

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Thomas - one of my favorites! He would never sit still long enough for another photo.


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Ward

PAWS isn't only for cats

Lisa Barnett gave us a tour of the kennels. At the time of our visit there were nine dogs in house.

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Chip


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Gilbert


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Hennessey
PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Jonah

The kennels are large with plenty of space for the dogs.

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
The dogs have plenty of room! I was so happy to see this. 

As with the cat areas, the kennels were very clean and the dogs are very well cared for and very much loved. 

There is also a courtyard where they can have outside time unleashed.


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

We weren’t able to go out there because this little cutie was enjoying her time running around.


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

When we entered a room called “Anna’s Dog Park”, I was blown away!


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk

After being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Anna was approached by the Make A-Wish-Foundation. Her selfless wish was to make a difference for shelter animals. The result was an indoor/outdoor dog-like park for the rescued puppies and dogs to have a comfortable place to meet their potential adopters. Blue Buffalo partnered with Make-A-Wish to make Anna’s wish a reality.



About PAWS

PAWS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1962 by Westport, Connecticut resident Betty Long to rescue homeless dogs and place them in permanent homes. The organization’s rescue efforts were expanded to include cats in the early 1980s.


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Swizzle


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
That Cat
For 37 years, PAWS rented space for the animals in its care from local boarding kennels & veterinary hospitals. The needs of the community increased over time, and the organization realized that in order to expand its services and capabilities, it would need a place of its own. In 1999, PAWS undertook the task of building their shelter, and the organization moved into its current home in 2001. As a result, they have greatly increased the number of pets they are able to help.


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Rudy


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Taylor
PAWS has a handful of paid staff and a large team of dedicated volunteers who help with everything from fundraising to kennel work, walking dogs, socializing cats, and much, much more. Every person at PAWS is a valued and vital member of a team that helps accomplish the miracles that happen every day. Kevin and Tracey have been volunteering for 20 and 14 years, respectively, and spend every Saturday and Sunday afternoon there. Now that's impressive!


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Patch


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Prissy

Special Programs

PAWs has several special programs that help both the animals in the shelter and the community. Two are PAWS Pension Plan for Senior Cats and Dogs and Pets for Patriots. The Paws Pension Plan was established to greatly increase the chances for senior animals (cats who are 12+ years old, and dogs who are older, to be determined by breed and size) to find their forever families. Under the auspices of this program, all adoption fees are waived; PAWS covers an annual exam, annual vaccinations as recommended by its vet, and one senior blood-work panel every year for the life of the pet. Since the inception of the program, 20 senior cats have been adopted!


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Patch

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Charolette
PAWS partners with Pets For Patriots, an organization that helps military veterans adopt a new best friend while helping shelter animals find a home. Dogs and cats at risk of death or perpetual homelessness, veterans who need a new pet friend - each saved through adoption, both renewed by love. Pets for Patriots works with the animal welfare community by helping to educate the military community and the public about the plight of animals surrendered to shelters, promoting companion pet adoption. Pets for Patriots helps to reduce the costs of pet parenthood in order to prevent veterans from returning their new best friends to the shelter due to short-term financial hardship. You can read more about this program here. Click here for info on other PAWS programs.


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Merritt


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Mindy and Buny


How you can help

There are several ways you can assist PAWS. If you live in the area you can volunteer or you can be a foster parent. As a non-profit organization, PAWS is dependent upon the generosity of its private supporters. The organization does not receive funding from any city, state or federal agency. Medical care and boarding-related expenses for the pets are PAWS’ biggest expenses. Donations can be mailed to PAWS at: 504 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. PAWS also accepts online donations through Network for Good, a secure donation portal. (Please note: Minimum online donation amount is $10.00).


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
David


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
May

Their Amazon Wishlist can be viewed here and you can also support them by shopping at Amazon Smile and choosing PAWS as your charity.

My favorite way to show support is to sponsor a pet! Your one-time donation of $25 per cat or $50 per dog will help defray the costs of food, housing, and medical care for the animals waiting for adoption. In return for your donation, you will get:


  •        A picture of the pet you are sponsoring
  •       Their history of how they arrived at PAWS
  •       Notification when your pet has been adopted
  •       Best of all: A great feeling inside!
PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Daphne


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Daisy

I sponsored Figaro, who has been adopted. 


PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Hattori. 

I’m definitely going to sponsor another cat, but after meeting them all it’s hard to choose just one!


I hope you enjoyed this peek into a well-established organization that does wonderful things for animals in need. I want to extend a special thank you to Kevin and Tracey for spending the afternoon with us and giving us the grand tour.

PAWS|Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk
It was so great to finally meet Kevin in person!

If there was ever a shelter that makes a change in animals' lives, it's definitely PAWS. Their staff and volunteers give their hearts to these pets and it's evident they are well cared for. If for some reason a dog or cat is never adopted, they can live out their lives at the shelter surrounded by love. You can keep up to date with the pets at PAWS by visiting the blogs run by their volunteers: Animal Shelter Volunteer Life, Shelter Cats, and Scratch My Belly. 

I can’t wait to visit again! I've got great news to end this post with... since my visit Jonah, May, Daisy, Ward, Swizzle, and That Cat have been adopted! 

Do you know someone who has made a difference in the lives of animals?
Dawn

We're joining the Blog the Change 4 Animals Blog Hop! Check out the other pawesome posts in this hop.

32 comments:

  1. PAWS is such an awesome place and Kevin and Tracey are amazing - I had no idea they'd been volunteering there for so long!

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  2. Great post and Tracey and Kevin are amazing humans!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  3. Tracey and Kevin are most wonderful and PAWS is indeed a very special place!

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  4. Wow! This was just amazing to read. I've been following Animal Shelter Volunteer Life (and praying for all the cats to find forever homes,) but I had knowledge of all the amazing things this shelter does. I loved reading about all their programs, and was so impressed with how well thought out the rooms are, and the schedules. Of course, I'm always thrilled to find a no-kill rescue/shelter and delighted to discover it's right in my own state. Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful post, and for blogging the change.

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  5. This post is awesome!!! I love PAWS and I'm glad we got a behind the scenes look at what goes on there. I'm glad to know that they truly are as wonderful as they sound. The pictures are amazing too ... that Zatz knows how to strut his stuff. You are right about ASVL ... I fall in love with every single cat they feature ... and I couldn't help but check for the names I remember on the dry erase board :)

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  6. Mommy is really mad at herself for not doing a Blog the Change post today. Swizzle was our sponsored cat for several years until she went home as a foster with volunteer, Chris. We were so sorry to hear from Kevin that he had to bring her back to PAWS, but over the moon that she has a new mom and we pray a loving, forever home. Charlotte is the current cat we sponsor. We donate quarterly to her care as we did with Swizzle. She is so gorgeous, and we pray she soon has a forever home. When that happens we will sponsor another cat. We love Kevin and Tracey for their commitment and love they give to these animals. Mom hopes she too can visit PAWS sometime in the future. This is an excellent post, Dawn. Mom will give a link to it tomorrow on our Sunday Sefles post. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy

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  7. Wow, what a wonderful tour and story about PAWS! My husband Rick (Kitty Carpenter) and I have enjoyed working on the catification at the shelter. It was nice to meet you - even though it was brief. I hope you'll come visit again.
    Maggie

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  8. A very pawsome tour of a wonderful shelter :)
    We know all the animals there are well cared for and loved.
    What an amazing space they have too :)
    Thanks for sharing this!
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

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  9. Dawn, I'm so impressed with your post today. All the information and pictures are just wonderful. I'm also of course super impressed with PAWS! I'm going to look into sponsoring a kitty. This is yet another shelter I would love to visit (along with Tabby's Place an others)!

    That sure is a great picture you took of Zatz!

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  10. Great post about an amazing place. My dream is to go there someday to adopt an older cat. It keeps getting put on hold as cats keep appearing in my yard for me to keep.

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  11. This was fabulous! I just adore Tracey and Kevin and all that they do, the PAWS organization is superb! Love how everything is decorated there too! catchatwithcarenandcody

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  12. Great posty, great fotos and what a pawsum time you had. We've never been there, but luv what PAWS does. and of course we luv Kevin and Tracy and Maggie too. Big hugs

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

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  13. You got to meet Kevin and Tracey? How exciting! So glad to see these wonderful pictures and descriptions. Those are very fortunate animals that go through PAWS. Kudos to all the staff and volunteers.

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  14. Wowwee! We love Kevin and Tracey and everything they do for PAWS. What a wonderful place. Even though the cats and dogs there don't have forever homes yet, at least they are in a fabulous environment while they wait. Thank you for the tour.

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  15. What a fantastic visit you had! PAWS looks like such an amazing place, and we adore Kevin and Tracey and their tireless volunteer work there. I sponsored two kitties there in the past, Cinnamon and a kitty named Truffle (surprise, surprise, right?) Sadly, Cinnamon passed away but the last I heard Truffle had found her forever home with a shelter volunteer. I need to pick out a couple others to sponsor :)

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  16. Dawn thank you so much for participating in #BTC4A! And for giving us such a thorough tour of PAWS - a place we love as well! Pardon the pun, but ....PAWS up!!!

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  17. What a great tour....we love seeing other shelters and they are doing a great job!

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  18. PAWS looks like a wonderful organization.

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  19. What a great tour. We got caught short and didn't get a post up. TW would love to visit PAWS but Kevin and Tracey visited us once. I hissed and swatted at him. We have more things to donate but don't know whether he wants to come out here again. Maggie and Rick did a pawsome job on the decor.

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  20. What an awesome review of an awesome shelter. As you know, our Clyde is from PAWS and Kevin and Tracey were there when we took him home. There aren't enough words to express their passion and commitment as volunteers or for PAWS as a shelter. They do everything right which is why their shelter adoption rate is high. My heart skipped seeing Mindy and Bunny again. They are inseparable and we were sorely tempted but Clyde was caged which is all the more reason I'm beyond thrilled about the rotation schedule.

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  21. I’m Annie R. Payne, founder of Herepets and I’m absolutely in love with pets blogs. Aims to be one of the only dedicated pets news sources . This includes pets in the media, news-worthy events, celebrity pets, and at providing the best solutions to all types of problems that pet owners face on a daily basis. Here pets

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  22. You did a fabulous job portraying this sweet place! I love the photos and reading about all the features! What a cool portrait!!! it is so close to us, we should visit sometime. Our human is in love with May (cuz she looks like ME!) Lol. - signed Peaches the calico cat

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  23. Dear Lola, I have had the best experience that I can have today by reading this blog and getting this tour. I thank you and your mom so much for this. I have always wondered what the shelter was like although I can see each day when I go to Kevin and Tracy's blog bits and tantalizing pieces.

    I am so deeply impressed and I recognized so many of the cats as you went through the rooms. I love what Peaches and Paprika said...they called it a sweet place and I agree it is. I will take some of the suggestions you mentioned to help that I am able to do, and love the doing of it.

    Thank you again for perfect pictures and the fabulous tour. And for a more in-depth look at the shelter and Kevin and Tracey. 💗 I love them to bits.

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  24. That is such a fantastic post about PAWS. We have always admired Kevin and Tracey for all the work that they do. What a great place Paws is for sure. Thanks for this great review.

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  25. WoW! What a marvelous post about PAWS!!! And what a great shelter! Since Nellie went OTB I have been looking here for a new furrend and none could hold a candle to PAWS.
    Thanks so much for you wonderful piece about PAWS and the great work they do!
    Love
    Barb

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  26. What a pawsome place ! It's amazing ! Thank you for reviewing that fabulous shelter and organisation, and paws up for the volunteers ! Purrs

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  27. A totally brillianyt report on one of the USA's most visionary charities. Who would think to have a pension plan for cats? Amazxing.

    I was so moved by the pictures, thank you for a wonderful post.

    PS I love Kevin and Tracey.

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  28. What an amazing shelter! I have tears in my eyes from reading about Anna's dog park. I am always so impressed when a shelter is odor free! I think cage free rooms are so important for cats!

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  29. What a great report on such a terrific place!
    Have a super week ahead...

    Noodle and crew

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  30. Wow dat place looks pawesome!! We love the painted trees on da wall. They do some great work fur these animals fur sure!!

    xoxo,
    Matilda (& Matt)

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  31. What a wonderful post and awesome tour! I felt like I was really there. PAWS sounds like such a great place for the cats to reside while they're waiting for their forever homes. Yay for PAWS!

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  32. They have such a lovely shelter, thank you for sharing this with us. I am impressed by the number of cat adoptions and the rotation schedule.

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