Get Involved


There are many ways you can help save a life!

P.A.W.S. has many needs for volunteers.  Whether you have 10 minutes a week or 10 hours a month, you can help save a life!  And our needs are for all skill levels…from vets and vet techs, to teenagers who can walk dogs, to retired folks who might be willing to write a few Thank You notes or spend a few hours at PetSmart, there is an opportunity for everyone!

There are opportunities both inside and outside of the shelter.  Inside the shelter we need help with jobs such as cleaning cages, walking dogs, grooming cats, giving baths, and also occasionally bigger projects like painting or fixing things.  Away from the shelter, we need help with things like working adoptions at PetSmart, writing thank you notes, grant writing, and helping with special events.  In addition, we can always use help gathering items from our “Wish List”, which is a great group project for community or civic organizations such as schools, scouts, or church groups.

One of our biggest impacts is our Rescue Runs where Rescues (primarily in the New England area) “pull” dogs (and the occasional cat) from us for adopters in their areas.  This program requires a lot of work, organization, and financial help, but it saves over 60% of our dogs!  To make these successful, the pets must be healthy, which sometimes requires a good foster home (a great way to help!).  In addition, closer to the Run, vets must check them and write up a Health Certificate (we can always use skilled help for that!).  The Friday before the weekend Run, all of the dogs going on the Run need baths…with up to 30 dogs and puppies going, that can be a big job!  Then, for the Run itself, P.A.W.S. volunteers drive all of these pets in a van to as far as Hartford, Connecticut, making 4 or 5 stops to Rescue Groups along the way.  This is a huge all-weekend endeavor in the van, but the feeling of seeing these pets get out of the shelter forever and go to great, loving homes is certainly worth it!

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