Take paws: Say hello to Take Paws Rescue

By: Cassidy Woolworth, Olivia Klein, Jenna Levy, and Danni Bernstein

Introducing: Take Paws Rescue

What is Take Paws Rescue?

Take Paws Rescue is a non-profit animal rescue organization located in New Orleans, Louisiana. This group aims to help save the lives of pets that are misplaced, homeless, or from pet shelters throughout the state of Louisiana. The shelter operates out of their “Stray Cafe” on 2730 Banks Street. Take Paws Rescue works entirely with volunteers in many capacities, such as dog walking, cleaning kennels, bathing the animals, renovations, short-term and long-term fostering, and most importantly, finding these amazing animals a loving forever home.

Caring for these animals daily entails providing sufficient food and water. Additionally, the animals have the opportunity to channel their energy in walks around the block or playtime in a gated backyard. Maintaining a clean environment is key as it can quickly become a mess. Volunteers spend time picking up after the animals and organizing to ensure the best experience for everyone. Volunteers also attend offsite events in hopes of raising awareness for the shelter and to get animals adopted.

Meet Your New Best Friend

The organization emphasizes the importance of teaching and training the dogs under their care how to socialize with other dogs and animals as well as humans. Take Paws Rescue is incredibly involved in their New Orleans community through partnerships with schools and organized events around the city to advocate for these animals and get as many adoptions as possible.

There is an extensive history of the mistreatment of animals within puppy mills and pet stores. Many animals are forced to endure inhumane, unsanitary, and abusive conditions within these settings, which unfortunately have lasting negative effects on their health and psychological behavioral outcomes.

This article on commercial breeding establishments states that animals are often forced to live in areas with cages made up of wire mesh, feces, no windows, low ventilation, insufficient and/or contaminated water and food, and no protection from temperature. The findings demonstrate that dogs from high-volume commercial breeding establishments, pet stores, and puppy mills have significantly higher negative behavioral and psychological outcomes.

These animals tend to show higher aggression and fear toward owners, family members, unfamiliar people, and other dogs, stressing the importance of acquiring animals through adoption and shelters rather than pet stores or commercial breeding establishments. Although animal welfare is a national issue, Take Paws strives to address these challenges locally in New Orleans.

Take Paws Volunteers

Take Paws has an incredible lasting effect on volunteers. Volunteering at Take Paws can take many forms, both big and small. Whether it’s walking a dog or fostering an animal, volunteers know that they’re working towards giving these animals a better life and loving homes. Although our volunteer work first began as school credit, it soon became a fulfilling, stress-relieving activity. Interacting with these animals and taking part in the amazing work that Take Paws does is extremely beneficial and rewarding for all volunteers. Overall, our work with Take Paws will be something volunteers continue to do beyond the lengths of this class.

The lasting effect Take Paws has on volunteers can even help conquer fears. A fellow volunteer, Jenna, was scared of dogs for as long as she could remember. Her heart would race and she would become extremely nervous in the presence of dogs. However, despite her fear, she loved dogs from a distance and truly believed in the Take Paws mission. She decided to conquer her fears once and for all and sign up to volunteer at Take Paws for her Tulane service learning project.

The staff at Take Paws could not have been more supportive of her journey. The staff allowed her to walk the calmer dogs at first, exposing her to the love and joy a dog could bring to a person. She began to understand that most dogs are affectionate and hilarious, and need love and support just like humans. She plans to continue volunteering at Take Paws for the remainder of the year, as she has found a new found love for her furry friends, and is proud to say she is not scared of dogs anymore.

How to Get Involved

Tulane students  who get involved with Take Paws are extremely passionate about raising awareness. Several students who live off-campus have fostered dogs throughout the semester. Fostering dogs is an easy process, as long as the student is responsible and allowed to have animals in their home. In addition, on-campus sororities and fraternities host fundraisers and events to raise money and awareness for the dogs at Take Paws.

Dogs and puppies are present at these events, and students absolutely love seeing them. The dogs bring students a sense of home and unconditional love that they may not get otherwise, enabling them to do what they can to find these dogs a forever home. Take Paws also hosts biweekly events at the restaurant, Wrong Iron, encouraging patrons to play with and adopt the dogs.

Take Paws is an inspiring organization that finds dogs their forever homes. Since it is volunteer-based, it is very important that they continue to receive the support and donations needed to keep the establishment up and running. To donate, visit their website https://www.takepawsrescue.org/donate. They also post updates and links to get involved on their instagram:https://www.instagram.com/takepawsrescue/.


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