On Sunday, Feb. 2, Lawrence’s People for Animal Welfare (PAW) organization hosted a “Cat Café” in the Warch Campus Center. Attendees got to enjoy some coffee shop refreshments in the company of cats from Saving Paws, an animal rescue center in Outagamie County.
Funds raised by the PAW Cat Café, collected primarily through a five-dollar charge at the door, will be donated directly to Saving Paws. Since Saving Paws is a rescue center and not a government funded animal shelter, it depends entirely on donations to function.
PAW’s central activity as an organization is to go on trips every weekend to volunteer at animal shelters. The club volunteers at Saving Paws every other weekend.
When asked what kinds of projects the club works on at animal shelters, PAW board member fifth-year Sara Prostko explained that they have performed a variety of odd jobs. “We do whatever they need. That involves anything from putting up walls like we did last weekend or leveling gravel for outdoor areas for the animals, to doing deep cleans of the facilities. Whatever need they have, we bring the manpower to help,” Prostko said.
The PAW Cat Café was inspired by on campus interest in the non-Lawrence-affiliated “Pawffee Shop” cat café that opened in Appleton last summer. The café hosts a coffee shop with live cats in a dedicated private storefront. When the idea was floated of bringing a cat café to Lawrence, PAW heard enough interest to encourage them to do so and turn the idea into a fundraiser.
For those interested in future PAW events, the organization plans to host a “Puppy Yoga” event during spring term again as they did last year. Prostko said that anyone who wants to get involved with PAW can check out Lawrence.givepulse.com where all their volunteer trips are listed. And all are welcome to reach out to her or other PAW leaders senior Mara Kissinger or junior Hannah Burgess to learn more as well.