Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) & a Special Kitty

By Suzanne Alicie

If you’re a pet lover, you’ve more than likely heard of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS). This fantastic organization provides for the needs of companion animals to low income people with HIV/AIDS, other disabling illnesses and senior citizens. Volunteers provide essential support, educate the community and advocate for disabled individuals to have the right to keep service animals. PAWS is not just support for the health and well being of animals though; the organization also contributes to improving the quality of life for disabled individuals and their furry companions.

Thanks to the wonderful mom of Guido the Italian Kitty, we were able to get the inside scoop on some exciting news from the PAWS camp. Guido is a certified “Animal Assisted Therapy Meowster,” and PAWS is one of his very favorite organizations. Before I share their big news, I want to tell you a bit about the PAWS program and the work they do. I was lucky enough to be able to discuss PAWS with the President of the San Francisco organization, John Lipp, who filled me in on the details of PAWS and its presence across the country. 

PAWS provides the core services of food and veterinary care to the companion pets of disabled, senior and low income pet owners. Anyone who has ever had to give up a pet knows just how much a pet can benefit your life and how much you would miss them if you couldn’t have them anymore. PAWS keeps people from losing their beloved pets. While the San Francisco headquarters is the main and first PAWS program, there are now 24 other PAWS across the country. They are all independent programs, but are founded on the model of the S.F. program.  The S.F. PAWS assists roughly 750 clients with their pet needs.

You can find out more about PAWS and the services they provide by visiting their website. While you’re there, be sure to check out their upcoming events and sign up for their newsletter featuring the latest happenings at PAWS. If you’re in need of the services of PAWS, you’ll love the friendly people who will help you get into the program. When the PAWS President was willing to email and call me personally just to answer a few questions, I knew that this organization is involved in their services and gives their clients real personal attention. Everyone at PAWS is not only a pet lover, but they are truly devoted to helping their fellow man.

This is probably why Guido’s Mom, Judi Basolo, has launched a fundraiser in honor of Guido’s birthday! Guido the Italian Kitty will be five years old on May 26th, and is celebrating all month long! You can visit the “Happy Birthday Guido” page on PAWS website, or Guido’s Facebook page to find out more about the campaign to raise funds for PAWS, enabling them to provide more support and core services. The fundraising goal is to donate $5000 to the PAWS organization from Guido and his friends. All donations are 100% tax deductible and will be used to support PAWS services. Guido wants you to know that if you’re unable to tend to your pet, PAWS will bring volunteer dog walkers, free food, toys and accessories, bathe your pooch, and even take your cat or dog to the vet.

Also, PAWS President John Lipp has given me a special message to pass on to Guido:

As one of Guido’s biggest fans (I still haven’t washed the part of my face where he touched me with his paw!), I’m deeply honored that he decided to make his 5th birthday a celebration of  PAWS and our work to keep people and their beloved pets together. Happy Birthday, Guido. You make 5 look like the new 3!” – John L. Lipp, President/CEO of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS)

Happy Birthday Guido!! And thanks to Guido’s Mom, Judi Basolo, for putting together such a giving and wonderful birthday celebration!

There are lots of other ways you can help PAWS too, which in turn will help PAWS clients and their pets continue to stay together. PAWS is always in need of pet supplies, especially good quality cat food and dog food (like CANIDAE!), leashes, cat litter and cat scratching posts. PAWS also has an online store with t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseballs caps, books and other fun stuff – so you can buy some goodies for yourself or for gifts, and support PAWS at the same time!

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie


  1. This is some great information and what a wonderful thing to do. I did check out the website to see if I could get some help with my animals since I certainly am a senior citizen but it looks like it is only in San Francisco.
    Thanks for this nice post.

  2. Great post. We want to thank you for your concern about our Chica. She is doing better.

  3. Marg -- The website we linked to in this article is for the S.F. PAWS, but there are 24 other PAWS in the U.S. Let me check to see if one is near you.

  4. What a cool organization. I'm so glad there are people who recognize the amazing power of the human-pet animal bond. :)

  5. That is so wonderful and that made my whiskers grin up.

  6. This is meowvalous infurmayshun and I'm so so so purrrroud to support PAWS and be the first ever Spokescat for FELIDAE! You're all making me purr!

  7. Guido is our main man...thank you Guido, Happy Birthday. Thanks to Auntie Judi Basolo for your wonderful work for those less fortunate and those elderly unable to care for the fur babies they love. Giving me the inspiration to start something similar in No. Tahoe area. Certainly there must be a need locally.
    Love and hugs,
    Patty and Puppy Sophie McN

  8. Guido is one fantasti-cat & a sweet, loving furriend! I's so PURRoud of him & Momma Judi for supporting PAWS & all da good work they do. Love & head bonks from =Ninja=!


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