South Florida’s premier, non-profit dog rescue and retreat, Paws 4 You, is celebrating during May 10 years of saving more than 2,000 dogs.
The organization has grown from a committed small group of good Samaritans working together to prevent dogs from being euthanized, to the establishment of a comprehensive facility in southern Miami-Dade County that can house over 100 dogs, with an animal care staff and a team of dedicated volunteers working to find them forever homes.
In honor of its anniversary, Paws 4 You hosted a building dedication brunch for the organization’s longtime supporters and philanthropists, Greg Swienton, former Ryder CEO, and Jo Ann Swienton, without whom none of this would have been possible. Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn and members of Paws 4 You’s board of directors — Todd Kesterson, CPA at Kaufman Rossin; Tim Robitaille, president, ColorPrintDirect.com; Carol Caridad, founder and executive director, Paws 4 You, and Gail Balnicki, cofounder, Paws 4 You — also were on hand to mark the momentous occasion and commemorate the organization’s accomplishments, while setting forth new goals for the future.
“Paws 4 You has been a labor of love over the last 10 years for so many people, all of whom have played vital parts in the growth and evolution of the organization,” Caridad said. “It’s tremendously rewarding to know that their efforts have led to the successful placement into loving families, of well over 2,000 dogs throughout South Florida, dogs that would have otherwise not survived.”
Last year, Paws 4 You’s commitment to the community was recognized by Save our Shelter, a highly popular, national television show whose ultimate goals are creating healthy and happy environments for pets, increasing adoptions, and saving more pets’ lives. The show featured the hard-working people behind Paws 4 You and provided assistance in renovating select parts of the facility, making it a world-class, community-friendly dog retreat and adoption center.
Despite its great success, the organization is not resting on its laurels. Planned for the future are updates to the retreat that create a more comfortable and low-stress environment for its residents, who sometimes live there for the rest of their lives; enhancements to the design of the facility that increase its functionality and day-to-day efficiency, and fundraising activities that will allow the organization to realize its longer-range vision of establishing an in-house clinic to treat its resident dogs as well as to serve the community at large.
Paws 4 You is a private, non-profit organization based in the Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay. Its mission is to rescue and place homeless dogs into loving families, keeping them safe from the threat of euthanasia.
Working primarily in southern Miami-Dade, the county’s highest risk area, Paws 4 You combats the displacement of family pets through education and the promotion of healthy relationships between pet parents and their companion animals. The animals rescued by Paws 4 You vary from being sick, injured and abandoned, to simply lost. The organization’s boarding “retreat” gives these dogs safe shelter, professional medical care, socialization and hope. Additionally, the animals are sterilized, vaccinated and micro-chipped to prevent future loss.
One of Paws 4 You’s most unique features is its community pet boarding service with 100 percent of the proceeds allocated to caring for those dogs awaiting a forever family. For more information, visit www.paws4you.org.