PAWS San Diego has moved!

PAWS16-moving8.5x11-page-001It’s been over a year since we merged with San Diego Humane Society and we’re excited to be relocating to the San Diego campus on Gaines Street. Our new location will be more accessible and convenient for our clients and we’ll be able to offer a wider range of services. We will maintain the same hours of operation: Monday through Friday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same.

Our new building is located directly across the street from San Diego Humane Society’s San Diego Campus, located on Gaines Street in the Morena District of San Diego, easily accessible off of I-8.

Here are the directions:

  • From I-8 West: Take the Morena Boulevard exit and take a slight right onto Linda Vista Road. Turn right on Napa Street, then turn left at Gaines Street. The building will be about a block up on the right.
  • From I-8 East or I-5 North: take the Morena Boulevard exit and follow signs for Morena Boulevard. Merge onto Morena Boulevard and take a slight right onto Linda Vista Road. Turn right on Napa Street, and then turn left at Gaines Street. The building will be about a block up on your right hand side.
  • Public transportation: PAWS is conveniently located within a few blocks of the Morena/Linda Vista trolley station, on the Green Line.

Clients may continue to pick up food and supplies through Friday, February 26 at our current location on Fairmount Avenue. We will be moving in to our new space and therefore closed on Monday, February 29 – Tuesday, March 1, and will resume regular business hours in the new location on Wednesday, March 2.

We look forward to serving you in our new space!

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PAWS San Diego Partners with San Diego Rescue Mission to Help Homeless with Pets

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that 63% of households have at least one pet.  When these people fall on hard times and are forced to move, finding affordable housing for themselves and their pet proves to be almost impossible.  Just like us, many of the clients that we serve say that they would rather live on the streets, or in their car, than give up their beloved companion.  Thus, many do.  The San Diego County Regional Task Force on the Homeless estimated that over 8,500 people were homeless in San Diego in January 2014.

As part of our merger with the San Diego Humane Society, PAWS San Diego now offers a Homeless Outreach Service.  By partnering with human service organizations that support the homeless, we are able to provide pet food and support to help these families keep their pets.

Vincent Williams & Zooey 2This Thanksgiving, PAWS San Diego partnered with the San Diego Rescue Mission to serve the homeless. As these individuals and families lined up for their Thanksgiving Congregate Meal, many of them had their best friend in tow. PAWS San Diego’s dedicated volunteers and staff were on hand to make sure these furry friends were taken care of while their human companions enjoyed their warm, Thanksgiving meal. Most of these very loved, four legged friends are not used to being apart from their human companion, so we made sure both humans and pets were reassured that everything was going to be ok. Over 50 pets were walked, cuddled and taken care of, and they all left with pet food, supplies, smiles and wagging tails.

The reunion between pets and their people had to be seen to be believed. It was the best Thanksgiving gift we could have given ourselves and perhaps to these pet families too. It was priceless.

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The PAWS Pantry Engages the Community

The PAWS Pantry is a supplemental food program that assists the needs of low-income pet families and other non-profit human service organizations in San Diego. At a time when so many households are forced to cut corners to meet even the most basic of life’s necessities, oftentimes it is the pets that bear the burden. Something as simple as removing the challenge of resourcing pet food can be the difference between keeping an animal at home or having that same animal taken to a rescue or shelter. With the help of partner groups like The Petco Foundation and the Rescue Bank, as well as individual donations, we are able to supply high quality food to those most in need in order to ensure that these vulnerable pet families stay together.

But it is not just low-income pet families that benefit from this program. From preparation to distribution, the PAWS Pantry engages and assists many individuals (human and animal) in our community. Volunteer groups like Veterans Village of San Diego, Oasis Clubhouse, and Employment and Community Options help us take large bags of kibble and break them down into smaller individual portions for distribution. The groups come in anywhere from once a week to once a month, each time gaining meaningful work experience while contributing a valuable service to our organization.

After the food is bagged, it can be picked up at the PAWS San Diego office or at one of our monthly distribution centers with proof of low-income status. Families with dogs receive an 8-pound bag of kibble and those with cats get a 3.5-pound bag. Depending on the size of the pet and pet family this can help out for a week or a month, and we allow extra bags under certain circumstances. We also educate on the benefits of spaying and neutering animals and provide low-cost referrals for those in need. We are currently looking for dedicated individuals who might be interested in volunteering at a PAWS Pantry site. Locations and dates/times are flexible depending on your preference and availability. Please contact Lauren at outreach@pawssandiego for more information.

Surplus supplies of dry food are distributed in bulk to local rescue groups and shelters. Rescue groups like The Rescue House, Labradors and Friends, and The Barking Lot have all come to our office to load food supplies in their trucks to take back to their animals. Taking the burden of sourcing a food supply away from these groups, even if just momentarily, allows them to focus their efforts on finding forever homes for the animals.

Since its launch in November of 2012, the PAWS Pantry has helped thousands of pet families with food for their animals. We could not be more thrilled with the success of this program and the unintended but wonderful impact it has made on the greater San Diego community. For more information about PAWS San Diego’s programs, please visit pawssandiego.org/programs.

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