Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS)

Pets Are Wonderful Support {PAWS} is a volunteer-based organization that helps improve the quality of life for persons with AIDS and other disabling illnesses by offering the emotional and practical support to keep the love and companionship of their pets. PAWS has a variety of jobs young people can do:  work in their food warehouse, help out at special events such as SantaPAWS, conduct pet food drives at their school or help in    the office.

AWS believes that the healing impact of the human-animal bond is one of the best supports available for medically vulnerable individuals, and mounting evidence indicates that this bond can yield valuable health outcomes. For many people, having a companion animal is part of living a happy and fulfilling life. For some individuals, especially those who are chronically ill, frail, and isolated by disease or age, having a companion animal can be central to their health and well-being. Animal companionship becomes even more important when our human contacts diminish because of aging or illness.

Through the generous support of individual donors, private foundation grants, corporate grants and business supporters, PAWS is able to provide needed companion animal services to hundreds of low-income San Franciscans so they continue to benefit from the healing power and unconditional love of their beloved pets.

The mission of PAWS is to preserve, support and nurture the human-animal bond for those most vulnerable in our community.

PAWS began as volunteers mobilized in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. While serving at The San Francisco AIDS Foundation Food Bank in 1986, volunteers noticed that some clients were neglecting their own nutrition and feeding donated food to their animal companions instead. With the belief that no person should have to choose between feeding themselves or their beloved pets, the volunteers created a special food bank to carry pet food and supplies. The demand for this new service was overwhelming and, in October 1987, PAWS became an independent, nonprofit organization.