Chocolate. Chex Mix. Not what one usually thinks of when they think of chow for puppies. This is a good thing because, as has been widely documented and publicized, chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs of all ages. However, People for Animal Welfare (PAW) is selling this unique puppy chow not for dogs, but for the humans who love them. From Feb. 12-14, PAW held a fundraiser called “Puppy Love” for Valentine’s Day, on the second floor of the Warch Campus Center. Members sold chocolate-covered Chex Mix with powdered sugar in order to help cover the cost of training service animals on campus. The training is done in cooperation with Custom Canines, a non-profit charity based in Madison, Wis. and several students on campus who take part in training service dogs.
People for Animal Welfare is a student organization that was rebuilt last year and, in the words of sophomore and secretary/treasurer of PAW Cynfor Lu, “completely revamped.”
“We address issues related to animal welfare,” Lu said. “We specifically focus on helping local shelters in whatever way we can, whether that be donating money, materials or volunteers to the shelters,” Lu said. The organization typically puts on one event per term, with Winter Term being the exception because of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday last month. On that day, PAW made dog treats and toys for two local organizations, Saving Paws Animal Shelter and Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary. These two organizations provide valuable resources in helping homeless, abandoned and special needs animals. The former provides not just a shelter but also training for service animals to help people with disabilities.
According to the Saving Paws website, the organization also seeks “to educate the public regarding animal responsibility and the use of service dogs in public places.” The organization also helps those people who need to give up their pets because they can no longer care for them. Saving Paws was founded in 2006 in Appleton and they keep 50 to 75 cats in the shelter at one time, according to their website. Dogs are kept in foster homes.
Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary is an animal shelter with facilities in Marion and Green Bay, Wis. Their primary mission is to provide a shelter in Northeastern Wisconsin with a focus on long-term care for those animals who need it, but also to provide education to the public about animal welfare issues and to promote animal adoption.
“It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, ‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated,’” Lu said. “We at PAW wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Animals are an extremely vulnerable part of the community, and one that is often forgotten about. We want to show shelters, as well as the rest of the Appleton community that Lawrence cares about everyone, no matter how big or small.” Lu emphasized the importance of the work that PAW and their partner organizations do.
People for Animal Welfare helps these organizations through volunteering at the shelters throughout the term and fundraisers like the one this week, which at the time of this writing has been quite successful, with most of the puppy chow being sold. PAW also works with other student organizations such as Lambda Sigma, the sophomore Honor Society for volunteers and Cultural Food Club, which allows them to use their loft to make items for fundraisers. If students would like to get involved with People for Animal Welfare, they can email PAW president Michaela Rabideau (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up for information about trips to shelters and other events that PAW will be having.