About Pennies-4-Paws Inc.
For nearly two decades, we have worked privately and with local animal shelters to raise awareness and funds to support the thousands of animals calling shelters and rescues their (hopefully temporary) homes.
In 2011, we formed Pennies-4-Paws Inc., whose mission it is to raise funds for various animal related causes including fundraising for food drives, medical expenses, animal transports and supplies for shelters and rescues.
It was a beautiful spring morning and I was heading out to do errands. As I was driving with the music on and the windows down, I felt especially grateful that I had the afternoon to myself. I passed a local animal shelter and noticed the marquis outside that read “Desperately Need Cat Litter”. I made a mental note to pick up cat litter while running errands. As I drove to my destination I thought about how lucky I was to have given a home to animals just like those kept behind the doors of this shelter.
I pulled into the lot on my way home and collected the items I had purchased for the shelter. Although it had just opened for the day, there was already a line forming in the lobby so I set the items down on the floor and waited.
This may not seem like the makings for a life altering experience but it was. You see, this was the first time I’d ever set foot in an animal shelter. I had participated in fundraising walks, made donations, and even had mini-fundraising drives where I would ask friends and family to donate items on a shelter’s wish list, but I had never gone through the doors. I was afraid, horribly afraid, to go through the doors.
As I stood in the lobby, I refused to look anywhere other than the front desk. I became aware of the sounds of the shelter and dogs barking, the opening and closing of doors, staff working to wade through the small crowd in the lobby. At one point, it was as though there was silence. The sense of silence was simply me realizing where I was. I heard a soft wimper, a gentle meow from a cat. Instinctively, I looked to see where the sound came from. I didn’t mean to look. I didn’t want to look. Avoid eye contact. Just drop the items and go, I said to myself.
The gentle meow came from a little kitty calling a small cage its home. As I walked to the cage, another cat meowed, and then another and another. I moved from cage to cage and greeted each kitty by squeezing my fingers through the tiny spaces between the bars. I read their stories posted on their cages; surrender, stray, loves belly rubs, great purr, must be adopted with sibling. I began to feel overwhelmed with sadness.
I looked around to find someone to help me. There was no one. I really needed to leave. I was going to cry.
Just then, a young woman walked through the door. I told her that I had seen the sign out front and was dropping off some supplies and I really needed to go. She must have been able to sense something was wrong. As I explained the sadness I felt seeing these beautiful animals locked in cages, I began to cry. Cats need to run and explore. They need to have space to be curious and play scavenger hunt. How could they do that when they’re locked in cages day after day? The woman was so very strong and so very kind when she explained to me that these animals received lots of attention and would likely find homes soon. I shouldn’t feel bad for them as they are given great care and do get to explore throughout the day when the shelter is not open. We spent a few minutes talking about the shelter, its needs, its struggles and the joys of working with the animals.
I left there feeling I needed to do something to improve the lives of sheltered animals. Immediately.
Since that beautiful spring day in 2007, my husband and I have adopted or temporarily cared for dozens of sheltered animals. We have donated time, money, resources, sweat and tears to various shelters in our area. We have held fundraisers and we have helped to transport animals across the country for many animal transport groups that unite adoptable animals with loving homes or brings them to safety via fosters. Our desire to help is endless as the cause is never ending.
It is a very difficult economic time to ask people to donate, especially when most people are making sacrifices themselves to keep their budgets in line. Raising money is not our only goal. We also strive to raise awareness of the volume of animals that go to shelters each year, the need to spay and neuter, the amount of resources needed to run a shelter or rescue, the volunteer opportunities available and how making a little sacrifice can go a long way in the life of an animal waiting for a home.
We are registered as a non-profit corporation with the State of WI. Our 501(c)3 status is approved by the IRS. We are a very small non-profit with a very big heart and the passion to do great things. We hope you can help us accomplish our mission.
We are not affiliated with any particular cause, shelter, organization or group; we are simply animals lovers who would like to help as we can, when we can. We are not a rescue or shelter and do not take in strays.