Paws-ative changes for local animal shelter

Pictured is Liz McElwain, executive director for PAWS, posing with her dogs Dixie and Otis

PAWS Along The River has a new executive who wants to make, “the little changes that make a big difference.”

Liz McElwain, the organization’s new leader, said she brings experience running a non-profit organization and a deep love for animals to her role. McElwain has a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Her vision is to transform the shelter into something more feasible.

One of the initial changes was to increase its social media presence to broaden the organization’s reach.

“We want to make PAW’s more community-friendly,” McElwain said.

Updating the adoption process is one step McElwain has taken to make the shelter more open to the community. Adoption applications can be picked up at Paws Along The River for now, as a brand-new website is under construction.

Shown is the new logo and color scheme for the lobby of PAWS creating a more welcoming space.

“Seven animals have been adopted in the past week with others pending,” she said.

Another change is that every stray animal that comes to the shelter gets posted on the organization’s Facebook page within 24 to 48 hours.

This allows for a better chance at reunifying pets with their owners.

The organization also launched the “Seniors 4 Seniors” adoption campaign, allowing people over the age of 60 to adopt a pet six years or older with no fee. Additionally, those with military ID are eligible for free adoption of a dog over six months or a cat over one year old.

Paws has many volunteer opportunities, including dog walkers, cat cuddlers, and help at the Paw’s Thrift Shop in North Warren. The shelter also takes soda can donations to recycle, and other donation needs are posted on its Facebook pag when they arise.

McElwain is “working on implementing new programs with the board and staff, including a spay and neuter clinic, kids coming to read to the cats and kittens, and a foster program…I am not only here for the animals but for the community.”


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