Starting an animal rescue is a much bigger endeavor than most people think.
Some groups lack the resources to make it through the first year of service.
This is why, when a small, tight-knit group of people unite to not only
create a functional rescue, but also demonstrate a willingness to tackle big
problems, you know you have something special. In a very real sense, this
month’s featured grant recipient calls to mind Margaret Mead’s famous quote,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the
world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Based in Ft. Lauderdale, Paws South Florida Rescue is an animal-welfare group
working to put an end to the damaging cycle of feline overpopulation in their
metropolitan area. And, they are one of our ‘returning champions’, receiving our
non-profit’s support for the last three consecutive years.
This post definitely falls in the ‘back to the future’ category, as it was last
January when we updated you on the second award (in 2012) to this outstanding
organization. Continuing their momentum, their 2013 grant application once again
appealed to the hearts and minds of our non-profit board members. Our long-term
backing of this organization is due to their consistent performance in
delivering dependable results for local feral felines as well as cats in their
foster care network.
Their workers embody the very spirit of can-do rescue attitude. Taking the
long view in what amounts to one crisis situation after another is challenging,
but it’s exactly what this committed rescue has done. Feline overpopulation
isn’t a problem that can be solved in a day. But, with grit and determination,
they are making significant progress towards what they think is a very real
It would seem that the unofficial motto of this rescue is to ‘keep putting
one paw in front of the other.’ Every day begins with laying the groundwork for
future successes. And they represent the best chance Ft. Lauderdale feral
felines have for being free from abuse, disease, hunger and living at the mercy
of the elements.
The grant we provided last year went toward helping Paws South Florida Rescue
achieve their latest ambitious goal.
The Latest Project
Our grant helped Paws launch a new project – the reduction in the number of
cats sent to languish in the county’s municipal shelters. Given its relatively
small human population, the nearby city’s impound numbers were ‘very high’. Thus
far, they haven't encountered any unexpected challenges or obstacles. This is
just another example of the group’s coordinated efforts at identifying problem
areas and actively pursuing the solution, even though the project is estimated
to take nearly two years to complete. It’s clear that when Paws South Florida
Rescue undertakes a new cause, they are completely dedicated to seeing it
In summarizing their accomplishments for 2013, Paws graciously gave our
non-profit credit for helping them to achieve the following …
• Safely trapped and sterilized 192 feral cats, nearly all within the target
area (North Lauderdale city limits)
• Rescued 28 adoptable kittens from abandonment
• 2013 proved a solid year for locating forever homes for cats, with 23
• They also successfully transferred 10 other cats (mostly kittens) to another
local rescue group. This particular shelter had the right resources at the right
time, and helped to find homes for the kittens. This minimal reduction in the
number of cats alleviated some of the stress on the whole foster network.
Portrait of a Paws Volunteer
Deborah Gagnon, President of group, shared the following anecdote to shed
light on the character profile of a typical volunteer …
As an unnamed volunteer approached his car, he observed a cat hiding under an
adjacent vehicle. Able to coax the feline out from her ‘safe spot’, the
volunteer made inquiries among nearby condo-maintenance workers. He quickly
discovered that the cat was one of many animals living with squatters.
Determined to return the kitty safely home, he approached the squatters … but
they expressed no interest in the cat. This lucky kitty was now going home with
the dedicated rescue worker!
A few short weeks later, the volunteer learned that not only had the squatters been evicted from the condo, they had been hoarding animals ... and had left some behind. Suddenly, our hero found himself the only thing standing between four more abandoned cats and an uncertain future at the local pound.
According to Paws President Deborah Gagnon, “Every one of these cats has
proven to be extremely friendly”. She added, “All of them have now been properly
re-homed with personal friends and acquaintances of our volunteer who took it
upon himself to work this personal project.” By all accounts, these felines are
welcome adoptees, and all have proven to be “true lap-cats”.
Here are just some of the felines who’ve had the good fortune to be rescued
by Paws South Florida Rescue …
A rare, orange, female tiger kitten, Tanji is openly friendly and playful
with cats and humans.
Cuddles loves to play – especially pounce-on-the-foot – and likes to smooch
whoever’s holding him.
A dark-orange tiger kitten, Ruby is described as ‘exceptionally affectionate
Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation has provided funding to animal rescue
groups all over America since 2007. Our non-profit wing could not have achieved
what it has without the continued patronage of our customers and contributions
of individual donors. On behalf of Tabitha, Biff, Tanji, Cuddles, Ruby, Molly,
Mr. Snuggles, as well as dozens more, we thank you for caring enough to make a
If you’ve had experience with an animal rescue organization worthy of special
recognition and financial support, please forward this post, to let them know
that our non-profit is actively seeking grant applications for 2014. We
encourage interested parties to call us toll-free at 877-387-4564 … one of our
customer service agents will be happy to share application details.