Starting on Monday, October 12th and running through Thursday the 15th, I will be collecting money at quizzo for PAWS, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. Jon K, a former regular at Industry until his team got all married up and fell apart, is raising money for the upcoming PAWS Mutt Strut, and I thought it would be really cool if we could help him out. I interviewed him a bit about the program that we’ll be raising money for.
JGT: Tell us a bit about the PAWS Mutt Strut.
Jon K: The Mutt Strut is an annual tradition where dogs and the people who love them walk the scenic route in The Navy Yard to raise funds and awareness for PAWS’ efforts to save Philadelphia’s homeless animals. There are dogs available for adoption at the event and they can be “rented” for a donation! Last year, PAWS raised $112,000 and are looking to surpass that this year.
JGT: What first got you involved with the organization?
Jon K.: I first got involved with PAWS about 7 years ago. I had lots of spare time and not a lot of money to spend, so going to hang out with dogs all day on Saturday seemed like a win-win. It turns out that working with animals is pretty rewarding. As I got busier and found myself with less time and more money, I shifted my focus from cleaning cat cages and walking dogs to fundraising for the Mutt Strut and fostering kittens.
JGT: What does PAWS do with the money raised?
Jon K.: PAWS is 100% donor funded, so everything they do is dependent on the generosity of supporters. The money raised for the Mutt Strut will help fund lifesaving initiatives like adoption and foster care programs, spay and neuter surgeries, low-cost vaccinations, and other community-based initiatives, all of which help reduce and will ultimately eliminate the unnecessary killing of Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. 91¢ of every dollar goes directly to lifesaving efforts, and it costs an average of $264 to rescue one animal, so it adds up quick!
JGT: How can other people get involved?
Jon K.: There are tons of ways to get involved. PAWS now has 3 locations: the original adoption center in Old City, a low-cost clinic in Grays Ferry, and a brand new clinic on Grant Avenue in the northeast that is both a clinic and an adoption center. All of them run on volunteers. You can volunteer to clean cages, transport animals, walk dogs, and lots of other things that need to be done. There’s also fostering, which is a HUGE help. You take an animal from the shelter to raise in your home until it is healthy enough or old enough to be adopted. This frees up the space to rescue another animal, so every fostered pet saves 2 lives. And finally, like all non-profits, the biggest help is money.
JGT: When are you guys going to start playing quizzo at the Industry again?
Jon K.: Trust me, I would love to, but everyone we know and played with keeps getting pregnant and moving out of the city. I have not given up hope of making new friends that will actually hang out with me.