Lending a Helping Paw
PAAWS for Life will provide assistance to the animals of Aberdeen and pet owners in need.

Lending a Helping Paw

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Photo courtesy of Malerie Henschel

A new pet advocacy group has been formed in Aberdeen.

PAAWS for Life meets in the K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library on the first Thursday of every month at 6:00 PM. Anyone who is interested in advocating for pets and stray animals in town is welcome to attend.

According to their mission statement, “PAAWS for Life’s mission is to transform the lives of area cats and dogs by providing affordable spay and neuter services and veterinary care to low-income families, as well as providing educational opportunities to all pet owners.”

The group was previously known as the Aberdeen Angel Fund and helps individuals cover the costs of end-of-life care for their pets. Their new name – which stands for Promoting Animal Assistance and Wellness Support – summarizes their goals and services.

In addition to providing end-of-life care assistance, PAAWS for Life will also help with emergency medical services as well as spaying and neutering pets for those in need. Currently, they are planning on using a voucher system to help with spay and neuter costs.

“People can buy a voucher, and we match that amount at the vet,” Treasurer Malerie Henschel said.

The group is currently applying for its nonprofit status, and they have been brainstorming ideas for fundraising events. In the future, the group would like to partner with local businesses and provide a physical place for people to purchase vouchers. They are also working to set up a pet food bank.

Henschel said that it is important for people to stay vigilant with their pets.

“Aberdeen has a leash law, and cats are a part of that,” she said. Keeping all pets inside – especially cats – can help control the number of stray animals in town. //

Follow their Facebook page PAAWS for Life and keep an eye out for future volunteer opportunities.


Five Ways to Help Strays

  • Spay and neuter your pets. By spaying and neutering your pets, you can help prevent overpopulation before the problem begins.
  • Adopt a pet.  When you adopt a pet, you gain a lifelong friend and take an animal off the streets. The Aberdeen Area Humane Society has plenty of furry friends that can’t wait to join your family!
  • Microchip your pet. the American Human Association estimates that 10 million dogs and cats get lost in the United States every year. Unfortunately, many of these pets don’t get claimed if they end up in a shelter. A microchip is a permanent way to tie your information to your pat, and it can help agencies find a pet’s owner.
  • Keep you pets indoors. Keeping your pet indoors not only keeps your pet safe – it can help prevent overpopulation.
  • Donate to local programs. Agencies like the Aberdeen Area Humane Society and Pet Rescue League work hard to take care of animals, and a donation can go a long way to help. If you don’t have the funds to donate, consider volunteering!