This month at Baking for Good we’re pleased to feature PAWS NY, a local nonprofit that provides pet care assistance to individuals struggling both physically and financially so that they can keep their pets and continue to benefit from the human-animal bond. PAWS focuses on helping the elderly, people with disabilities, and individuals suffering from illness.
PAWS was founded by Rachel Herman in 2008. She shared this video with us to show firsthand some of the services PAWS provides and how it helps individuals and their pets stay connected. Take a moment to watch the video, then read Rachel’s inspiring story of how she got started!
Rachel’s Story: “It was January 2008, and every day for three years I had walked by a young homeless couple and their dog outside of a local grocery store. As an animal lover, my heart broke for these people and their pet. So, I would occasionally drop off pet food or change, but I never felt that my contributions were making an impact. So, I started to ask myself questions that would ultimately lead to our founding, “How can I provide more meaningful assistance?” and “Are there other people in New York that have pets but struggle to provide adequate care for them?” I spent the next 6 months researching, and I found that there were many pet owners facing both physical and financial obstacles that made it difficult for them to care for their beloved animal companions on their own, and there was no organization helping to keep these people together with their pets. So, I formed a Board of Directors and PAWS NY was born.
PAWS NY focuses on helping individuals with both physical and financial barriers, and this includes the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and people who are suffering from illness. We know how important their pets are to them, and we do all we can to ensure that our clients don’t have to give up their pets due to circumstances outside of their control. Based on the 2010 census data, we estimate that there are over 400,000 New York City residents who could benefit from our assistance. Our volunteers provide help with tasks such as dog walking, litter box maintenance, transport to the vet, transport of supplies to the client’s home, grooming, and other pet-related tasks our clients struggle to do on their own. In addition, we provide emergency and/or foster care for pets if a client unexpectedly ends up in the hospital.
Since our founding, our volunteers have donated more than 4,100 hours of their time on over 2,800 visits to help our clients and their pets. We have somehow been able to find the most dedicated and committed volunteers. We are so grateful for each and every one of them!”