PAWS event held in St. George

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Student volunteers are needed at a local non-profit animal supporting organization.

PAWS (providing animals with support) was established in 2002, and has grown exponentially, and has helped save nearly 1,000 animals in the St. George area. All work is voluntary and the profits go straight to the animals they sponsor. PAWS is employed with canine and feline experts who work with the animals.

Feline Director Andi Sykes said it’s hard not to get attached to the animals—she has seven cats of her own that she’s kept during her time volunteering at PAWS. 

“I’ve kept them because I couldn’t give them away,” Sykes said. “We screen everybody who wants to adopt. When you know they’re going to good homes, it’s easier letting them go.” 

The application process is simple yet thorough. If considering adopting an animal, one must answer questions like how many animals and children he or she currently has, and where the animals will be kept. 

Sykes said it’s hard to find people willing to adopt.

“It seems like in St. George there aren’t a lot of cooperative landlords,” Sykes said. “Some have to pay a huge pet deposit, and their rent might even go up. It’s really sad.” 

PAWS runs across that situation often, and Sykes said college students are often the ones caught in this predicament. She recommends volunteering for those who can’t adopt. They’ve never turned down a volunteer. 

“We just want to make sure you’re the right person,” Sykes said.

Volunteers and golfers gathered on Monday at Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club for a golf tournament and silent auction sponsored by Stephen Wade. There was an impressive turn out, but Dar Fryatt, member at large, said he wished for a bigger turn out. 

“There are quite a few people who support PAWS, but the community at large could be better in my opinion,” Fryatt said. 

Fryatt said it’s easy to find people who want to adopt, but the hard part is getting a commitment out of them. 

“When we do adoption events, people will come by and say, ‘What a cute dog; I’ve always wanted a dog,’ and then walk away,” Fryatt said.

Fryatt said he would love to see more involvement from students.

“We have training, and busy students can do just one shift a week,” Fryatt said.

Volunteer shifts are three hours long, and you can sign up for any of the seven days a week. Fryatt said he’s usually done in less than two hours. Volunteers are responsible for simply taking them outside and letting them play.

“The love of an animal is so special,” Fryatt said. “Some of the things they do, you just look at them and laugh.”

If you are interested in learning more about PAWS, fill out an application or stop by their office, located on 1125 W. 1130 North, for more information.