Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Pet Animal Welfare Society of Connecticut (PAWS)

1,912 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal-Related, Animals

Mission: PAWS was founded in 1962 by Westport resident Betty Holmes Long. We are dedicated to rescuing homeless & abused pets & placing them in new, loving homes. We also seek to decrease pet overpopulation through education and by offering low cost spay/neuter to our community. PAWS also offers humane education to local schools & girl scout/boy scout troops.

Target demographics: homeless animals

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 animals in need

Geographic areas served: Fairfield County, CT

Programs: The 2 major objectives of PAWS are 1) The rescue & placement of homeless pets 2) Low cost spay/neuter to decrease the number of unwanted pets being born.We also assist the public in placing animals that they own but can no longer keep. We also help people place animals that they have found as strays.

PAWS also does a limited amount of humane education in an effort to teach care & compassion for all living creatures to the next generation of pet lovers.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Client Served

Rating: 1

A counter-point on these generally positive reviews. This issue is referenced in the few negative reviews you can find in various places, but I wanted to expound on them a bit and share some personal experiences. I think the people at Paws mean well. I think they genuinely care for their animals, and I don't want to suggest otherwise. I must say, however, that the entire organization is woefully deficient with communication skills and basic human interaction. Be prepared for the following going forward with any potential adoption:

Expect no feedback once you submit an application. Expect no communication once it's received - even for over a week. If you are pro-active (like simply showing up after receiving no acknowledgement ), you will likely be able to get someone to visit with you and perhaps locate your already-submitted application. You may be able to meet some dogs. I would budget at least 2 hours at the facility for that to happen.

I would also caution anyone to get attached to any of the animals you may meet. Go ahead and remain skeptical about being able to adopt any specific one, as it may be scooped up by "previous adopters" before the animal is even formally "eligible for adoption," a status that is apparently common among those kept there.

Also, if you do go the facility and meet with the staff, remain cautious about expecting progress from there. Do not expect that your references will be called over the next few days or even weeks. Do not expect any feedback from your initial visit. Do not expect any further communication as to the next steps in the process, even if you are told that you should "go home, sleep on it, decide if you want [specific animal] and just let us know." After you have let them know of your interest in a dog, be prepared to sit blindly in some clouded administrative state, for perhaps weeks.

If, again, you remain diligent and send, let's just pick a number, ten emails and make several phone calls over the course of those weeks spent in limbo, you may be able to reach someone who will initiate the process of actually calling your references. Once again, however, do not assume that having "excellent references" or a "fantastic application" will bring you any closer to adoption.

A very serious caution if you have children - be wary of Paws staff arranging a play meeting between your kids and the dog you have chosen to adopt (weeks ago, by now). Be very skeptical of positive feedback you have received about your application. Do not listen to words like "green light" and do not become confident when told that the "final step is ensuring that your children and the dog get along." Even if told that told your application is excellent, that your references were flawless, and that the you shouldn't worry because the dog you chose to adopt weeks ago "isn't going anywhere," do not be so naive as to think that the final meeting with your children is actually the last step. In fact, after 30 minutes of watching your kids happily play with the dog you chose, be prepared to be informed that "as I told you on the phone, there is another family with a great application who also wants [specific animal]." Do not be surprised if, in fact, no one ever told you prior to this "final step" that you were in a heated, down-to-the-wire competition with other adopters. Please prepare your children for the fact that competitors can rise up against you at apparently any moment in the process. Do not expect any degree of caution or sympathy from the staff as to your childrens' impressions of this play visit, even if you have explained to them multiple times that just a couple months before, the kids had lost their dog of 10 years (another rescue, by the way). The competition amongst potential adopters is certainly more important than your kids' emotions.

Do not be surprised when told that home visits among the two now warring families will be scheduled in the next week. Do not be surprised when there is no follow-up concerning those visits. Do not be surprised if a week later you receive an email that simply says "we are sorry to inform you that [specific animal] is going to be adopted by [your apparent rivals] but you have an excellent application and we will find another dog for you." Do not be surprised when emails and phone calls asking for more feedback about the decision go unanswered.

In short, do not be surprised to be at ground zero after a month of effort and never, ever assume you will be adopting until walking out with an animal.

I expect a certain amount of rancor from this review - so I should simply say we are lifetime dog owners and firm believers in adoption. We are experienced with the process. This was, let's say, just a bit frustrating.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's amazing how many of the reviews are from people who have been volunteering at PAWS for years and years, with many over a decade. The dedication of the volunteers and staff at PAWS speaks volumes for the strong commitment to the guiding principles of the organization. PAWS truly cares about the welfare of all pets, and makes a huge positive impact on Norwalk and its surrounding communities.

I've been a volunteer at PAWS for about 15 years, and also a very happy and satisfied customer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at PAWS in Norwalk for over 10 years. I am a cat adoption counselor. I have to say, hands down, it is the most rewarding experience. PAWS is an organization of dedicated staff and volunteers that devote their time, energy and love to homeless animals. I see on a regular basis how incredibly special each and every animal is that spends any amount of time at this shelter. I am proud to say that I am a part of PAWS.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at PAWS for 5 or 6 months now. It's such an amazing shelter. The staff and the other volunteers are hard working. We all have the same goal. To love and help these cats/dogs, and find them good loving homes. It's a priceless experience for me.

1 Lisa194

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with PAWS for almost 9 years and have been so proud to be a part of such a wonderful organiazation. PAWS is an incredible rescue that saves the lives of so many cats and dogs on a daily basis. They have an amazing group of volunteers and staff members who are extremely dedicated.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've been a volunteer at PAWS for around eight years. I assist in fundraising and in caring for and socializing cats. I find it rewarding to see the changes that caring people can effect in animals that come in for adoption. The cats may be scared or confused by their new situations, but through the interaction of our small staff and our many dedicated volunteers, they often overcome these problems and are then much more likely to be adopted. Assisting in fundraisers provides a two-fold benefit to me. Not only do we raise money or collect donations to help support our population of dogs and cats, but it's a personal pleasure to connect with people in the area who appreciate our efforts. Some of them tell us that they adopted a pet from PAWS and are happy to lend us a hand. Others have never heard of PAWS, but when we explain what we do, they generously open their wallets or come out from the grocery store to hand us needed supplies. They remind me that people are often unexpectedly generous for a good cause.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at PAWS in April of 2011. This is an incredibly well-run organization that does such good for dogs and cats in need in the area. I do dog walking/socializing. I appreciate being part of this organization so much that I continue to volunteer even though I moved a few towns away. My friends also just adopted a kitten from PAWS and we extremely happy with the experience!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been walking shelter dogs at PAWS for the past seven years. The staff and the volunteers are hard working and dedicated, but what I like most is the kindness and care given to the animals. Even those that are hard to adopt out receive attention, medical care when necessary, home visits on occasion, and a comfortable place to spend their remaining days. PAWSCT is no kill sheltering at its best.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at PAWS for about 5 years, and in that time it has been wonderful to see hundreds of cats and dogs find their forever homes. I have also adopted two cats of my own from PAWS and am so grateful to PAWS to taking such good care of them while they were at the shelter.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at PAWS in 2004. Since my retirement, I am there several times a week. PAWS has an amazing network of of volunteers who love the animals as their own, and are vested in their care, socialization, and adoption. It is so rewarding to see a lost, frightened animal become a loving candidate for a forever home. My sister and I have fostered and/or adopted 6 PAWS dogs since 2005. Never has PAWS denied medical care or procedures for our fosters. The knowledgable staff is always available for advice and help to anyone who asks.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having volunteered at PAWS in Norwalk for almost a year now, I have nothing but praise and admiration for the people who run the organization and for the organization itself. At PAWS the animals come first,and the humans work very hard to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible. I have been working with the cats and have discovered, among many other things, that cats respond really well to clicker training...which makes the more adoptable and, more importantly, gives them the mental stimulation they all need. The people at PAWS are willing to try anything that will make life better for the animals they care for.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at the Pet Animal Welfare of Society of Connecticut for three years now, and it continues to be a wonderfully rewarding experience. While I could work at a shelter that is literally a five minute walk from my door, I choose to drive the 30 minutes to PAWS because I am so proud of the work they do there. While the shelter in my neighborhood hand-picks pets, mostly from the South, that they deem "adoptable" in this community, PAWS works very hard to take in all area animals in need. They take the strays, the abandoned, the abused. I work with staff members and other volunteers who are dedicated to helping these animals trust in humans again so that they may be placed into forever homes. It is work that is endless, tiring, and sometimes emotionally difficult, but ultimately it is beautiful work that is done there, and I am proud to be a part of it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello, I've been volunteering at PAWS in Norwalk, CT for over 12 years now working with the dogs. It is one of the best things I ever decided to do. The volunteers are a wonderful, warm close group and are just amazing. The amount of time and money they donate is as they say "priceless". When I first started volunteering I, as most of the general population, was leary of pit bulls. This is mainly due to the negative press they get. I soon learned that this is so untrue. They are a wonderful, loving, very smart breed that just want to be your lap dog. We have our second pit rescue and my husband who was guoted as saying "I'll never have a Pit Bull in my home" has also done a 360 and I know our current pit/bull terrior mix Allie won't be our last. In addition to being educated there are so many resuce and surrendered dogs that PAWS helps find their forever home. It's amazing how the dogs seem to know that they are getting a second (and sometimes third, etc) chance and are also looking for their forever homes. I've also had the opportunity to take some of the dogs to obiedience class and work with them to be more adoptable. It's amazing how many dogs and cats are mistreated or ignored, it's really sad. I've also had the pleasure of helping place two cats with my friends/co-workers. It's truly so rewarding when you see a dog/cat come in "broken" and then get placed into a loving home. It's one of the best things I've every experienced and done. PAWS is truly remarkable and not only help those that come in but also other less fortunate animals not only in our community but surrounding as well as SATO (Puerto Rico).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAWS is vital to the community! They care for hundreds of unwanted, abandoned, neglected and 'throw-away' animals on a daily basis and find them loving fur-ever homes of their own so that they may have a new 'leash' on life that they all so deserve! They give these sweet animals -- who are victims of whatever situation they came out of -- the love & attention they need and often have never had, INCLUDING medical attention. They tirelessly raise money to cover their costs, regularly host events and partner with neighboring businesses to increase awareness of PAWS & of the need to adopt from shelters. appear on local cable shows to let the public see the sweet animals in their care, etc. They do anything & everything they can to help Fairfield County one day have 'no more homess pets' and they do it with so much love, care, and compassion for our 4 (and sometimes less-than-4) legged friends!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAWS is an extremeley caring no-kill shelter for dogs and cats looking for their forever homes. PAWS evaluates their medical and behavior needs and provides the care and training needed, for as long as needed, until their new homes are found. I have volunteered with the dogs since 2001 and will continue to do so.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nine years ago, I visited paws to adopt 2 kittens. We had recently lost our 17 year old cat and 11 year old bunny. The house was just too quiet with a 10 year old cat and 8 year old dog. After meeting the available kittens, the decision came down to a litter of 4 new arrivals. They all had different coloring's, a black & white tuxedo, an orange tabby, a grey and tan and a white, grey and tan tabby. I have had cats all my life, but I had never had any of these color kitties. The decision of which ones to adopt was very difficult. It was getting close to closing time yet the staff at PAWS did not push me into making a hurried decision. They let me linger and play with the kittens while they went about preparing to close for the day. After much deliberation and the wonderful staff at PAWS, I decided to take all 4 kittens! I just couldn't split them up. Nine years later they are now the only pets in the house and still give us so much joy! I have been back to PAWS several times with friends looking to adopt pets. They are such wonderful people and do a great public service for our community and four legged friends.

Lauren40

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I always thought I couldn't volunteer at a shelter because it would be too depressing. It has been almost a year since I started volunteering at PAWS and I don't know why I waited so long!! This organization is filled with people who truly love each and every animal as if they were our own. So many people work tirelessly to make sure these animals are as happy and healthy as they can be until they find their forever home. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a wonderful animal being adopted and PAWS truly makes a difference in so many lives. I am proud to be a part of this organization and look forward to volunteering for many years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm truly honored to be a part of Paws. I love volunteering there. The staff is amazing and so dedicated to their cats and dogs. The animals are receiving the best care and I always look forward spending my time there and to help. I just LOVE it!!!!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAWS is a bare-bones, no-kill organization filled with truly dedicated people (mostly volunteers) who care deeply about the dogs and cats that they rescue and find forever homes for. I volunteered for PAWS about 3 years ago and try to help with special events when I can. I also found my best friend there (a min-pin/chihuahua mix named Brian). They make every penny count and it's a place that I will continue to support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Paws since 2005. It is a true haven for the animals that are blessed to walk through the doors. Utmost care,love and attention is given to every animal that enters. All animals are given the best medical care and are spayed/neutered before leaving. Animals are exercise and have daily interaction with multiple people. Every animal is safe until they are adopted.