Guest Writer

PAWS: What a difference an organization can make!

pawsBy Holly Myers

I’ve been coming to the Quepos area for the past 10 years and moved here over two years ago. As many of us that travel here, I fell in love with the climate, the beaches and the abundance of wildlife. However, the one thing that always broke my heart was the number of street dogs and cats and the lack of care the animals received. I was saddened that there wasn’t any way to systematically help these underfed animals that were sleeping on the street and in poor health.

Then PAWS (Pets of Aguirre Welfare Shelter) was formed. PAWS  is a non-profit organization and its sole purpose is to help improve the overall wellbeing of the animals in our area. PAWS Mission Statement is: To provide no-kill solutions to reduce the number of homeless cats and dogs through education, rehabilitation and re-homing. This non-profit has three major goals. The first is to provide low cost spay and neutering clinics in our community and the surrounding areas of our canton. Since PAWS began 1 ½ and years ago, well over 400 animals have been spayed or neutered at various low-cost clinics. Our local veterinarians have graciously given their time and resources to perform these procedures at the PAWS sponsored clinics. This effort has greatly improved the health of these animals as well a preventing the birth of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. On average, PAWS organizes a major castration clinic every 6 to 8 weeks with smaller clinics interspersed when needed. PAWS has begun a program of  early castration of puppies and kittens before they are adopted assuring that they will not reproduce when mature. One $25 donation will spay or neuter 2 of these puppies or kittens!

According to the Humane Society of the US, a single female cat can have three litters a year with an average of five kittens per litter. In only seven years, she and her offspring could potentially produce 420,000 cats. In just six years, one female dog and her brood can produce as many as 67,000 puppies!

The second goal is to find homes for the homeless dogs and cats in our area. Many animals have found loving homes thanks to the great work of volunteers and board members that spend their Saturdays at the PAWS booth at the feria. Animals that are in need of adoption are brought to the market by PAWS volunteers with the hope of finding them a new family. I personally have adopted two wonderful animals from the market. They found their way into my heart and home and have been great additions to my family bringing endless hours of joy and happiness. If you haven’t seen the PAWS booth at the market on Saturdays, they are located on the seawall in Quepos across from the park. Volunteers staff the booth from 8 am until 12:30pm and have information available about the organization as well as T-shirts and other pet related items for sale. Of course, the proceeds all go to support the PAWS cause! Donations are greatly needed and appreciated.

The third goal of the group is to raise money for a shelter in our area. This obviously is a long range goal and will take time and resources. Even though things have gotten better for animals, a shelter continues to be an on-going need and will continue to be a focus for the group.

How can you help? On April 9th at La Foresta Resort and Restaurant (near the hospital and airport), PAWS will hosting a fundraiser to help support spay and neuter clinics. The proceeds will go to purchase a mobile trailer that can transport all of the surgical equipment needed for clinics throughout the canton. This will allow PAWS and our local veterinarians to provide services in more rural areas. For your $25 donation, you will receive delicious bocas and desserts provided by our local restaurants, 2 complimentary drinks and treated to wonderful local musical entertainment. The fundraiser is from 7 PM to 10 PM and we hope to see you there! Tickets can be purchased at the PAWS booth on Saturdays at the feria prior to the event, online or facebook or at the door the evening of the event.

For those of us living and visiting the Quepos area, it is amazing the impact that PAWS has had in our community. The   hard work and dedication that volunteers have shown have made a real difference. I want to personally thank those people that have given of their time, energy, and money to get this organization up and running. I would like to encourage all of us to help in whatever way we can to support the animals in our area by supporting PAWS. If you would like more information about this non-profit group or would like to volunteer, please call Pat at 2777-1113 or check out the PAWS website at or email [email protected].  Donations are always appreciated and greatly needed. Help the animals of Aguirre Canton!

Support PAWS and Help Us Help Them!