Back in 1989, Nadia Sutton’s friend was suffering with the AIDS virus. When his failing health required hospitalization, his family, unable to come up with an alternative plan, was forced to give his cats away. Returning to an empty house left him downhearted and depressed. Nadia immediately stepped in on behalf of her friend. She tracked down his cats, brought them home and arranged for their care through the help of two volunteers. Shortly thereafter, Nadia founded Pets are Wonderful Support/Los Angeles (PAWS/LA).
Nadia knew that when pets and people come together, extraordinary things happen. We now know that the presence of a pet in one’s life can markedly improve an individual’s health, quality of life, and sense of independence. Whether it is a cat or a dog, a fish or a lizard, an animal can provide unparalleled benefits to us all. PAWS/LA recognizes these positive effects and works hard to share them with those in need.
The Los Angeles based organization is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic and life threatening diseases. For those living with a serious and debilitating illness, physical and financial burdens can often make it virtually impossible to provide and care for beloved pets. With the help and dedication of PAWS/ LA and its more than 300 volunteers, these individuals need not struggle with the decision of what to do with their pets in times of crisis.
PAWS/LA programs provide clients living in the greater Los Angeles area with pet security deposits of up to $250, routine and emergency veterinary care, including spaying, neutering and grooming services, home delivery of pet food and supplies for those who may be home-bound, dog walking services, kitty litter and bird cage cleaning, as well as any other necessary services to keep client and companion as comfortable as possible. Today, PAWS/LA continues its goodwill towards others with more than 1,400 clients, 300 volunteers and 2,300 companion animals.
This past October, PAWS/LA held its second annual pet art fund-raiser, Pet Art 2. Under the direction of the organization’s current executive director, Pamela Magette, this year’s event was as successful as last year’s, raising over $100,000. The funds will be used to support client services provided by PAWS/LA.
Held at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, the affair united world-renowned artists and photographers to showcase more than 170 pieces of art. This year’s event featured works by a number of distinguished artists including, Greg Gorman, Robert Longo, Renee Esordi, David LaChapelle, Patrick McMullan, Mark Seliger, Amanda Watt, William Wegman and even crooner, Tony Bennett, and actor Dennis Hopper.
The evening was hosted by comedienne Maryellen Hooper, with special performances by Eddie the Dog, from NBC’s Frasier, and Dan the Doggone Dog, as featured on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
For more information, log onto pawsla.org