Paws for Life Utah receives $20,000 PetCo Foundation grant
It’s been an eventful week for Paws for Life Utah.
The Heber-based nonprofit volunteer animal rescue recently completed two successful simultaneous Park City adoption events on Sunday and, two days prior, received a $20,000 grant to help with its Lifesaving Awards program from the PetCo Foundation.
Paws for Life Utah Executive Director Cathy Boruch couldn’t hide her excitement when she talked with The Park Record Wednesday.
"We were absolutely thrilled to find that we were worthy of the PetCo grant," Boruch said. "They solicit input from various rescues twice a year and we put in for this cycle in January and asked for assistance with our costs related to immunizations, spay and neuter and medical.
"These types of grants are meaningful to us because they allow us to continue to do our regular work of spaying, neutering, immunizing and outreach," she said. "But a big chunk of this grant will help with the medical portion."
Medical is, by far, the largest expense for Paws for Life Utah.
"There are so many adoptable animals that are in shelters that have medical needs," Boruch said. "For example, we see a lot of animals that have upper respiratory ailments, and this year alone, we have helped three animals that have required having some of their legs amputated because they were caught in traps."
Boruch learned Paws for Life Utah were grant recipients on Friday, two days before its Park City adoption events that were held at the Barking Cat and PetCo at Kimball Junction.
"Sunday was a great day for us," she said. "When we opened our doors at the Barking Cat, we had 40 people lined up ready to come in, and we adopted four kittens right away."
At PetCo, across S.R. 224, volunteers helped adopt three puppies "right off the bat," according to Boruch.
"So, our Sunday total adoptions were seven kittens and six dogs," she said. "But that wasn’t the last of it."
The events also served as a showcase for the animals the nonprofit has that are available for adoption.
"Oftentimes people will come without their families to see the animals we have available and then they’ll follow up with their families or other pets and we’ll host meet and greets," Boruch said. "So, since Sunday, we’ve had a total of 20 animals adopted."
In addition, many attendees donated items ranging from pet beds, animal milk substitute and baby bottles.
Neither event would have been as successful if it weren’t for the Treasure Mountain Junior High leadership class, led by Julie Hooker, who also volunteered.
"They helped set up, ran the dogs around and helped us with the puppies and kittens," Boruch said. "They were great, and what’s neat is they are still helping us with fundraising."
From a consciousness perspective, getting the youth involved with Paws for Life Utah events is important, according to Boruch.
"They can see firsthand how exciting it is to rescue sheltered animals," she said. "So, more than likely in the future when they are older, they will see the value of selecting shelter pets, rather than going to a backyard breeder or other places.
"That awareness alone, to me, is beneficial," Boruch said. "Also, they learn things, especially when we all work together. All of those skills are important for them to gain."
Boruch knows that shelter animals do come with some baggage, and it’s up to organizations such as Paws for Life Utah to be sure they match the animals with the proper owners and the right lifestyles.
"Those things are important to us," Boruch said. "Now, if it isn’t a good match, the family can bring the animal back and we will refund the money."
Paws for Life Utah’s adoption fees are less than it costs the organization to spay, neuter and microchip the animals for adoption.
"Adoption fees for our dogs are $100," Boruch said. "Our puppies are $150 and cats are $50. This is why we depend on grants and donations, and that’s why we’re thrilled to receive the PetCo grant."
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