Suds and hugs had tails wagging at a recent dog wash held at the Turtle Nest Inn in Bodden Town.
At the free event held on Sunday, a group of about 20 friends of the Protection of Animal Welfare Society (commonly known as PAWS), including veterinarians, veterinary students from St. Matthew’s University, and other members of the community, gathered to wash dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Several Bodden Town residents brought their pets out to be washed and to learn more about keeping their pets healthy. The volunteers were also able to bathe several stray dogs that are known around the community and monitored by PAWS.
PAWS was founded in 2010 by Giuseppe and Susanna Gatta, Alex Stewart and Marleine Gagnon. The nonprofit works to alleviate the suffering of animals in need, particularly in the eastern districts.
Community dog washes are just one in a variety of charitable initiatives that PAWS is responsible for. The group offers a spay and neuter program, financial assistance for families with pets in need, heartworm treatment, animal rescue, and feral cat shelters.
Mr. Gatta explained that the community dog washes are a way to spread knowledge about pet health and ensure that PAWS can effectively target its outreach initiatives.
“This is a way for us to give back to the community and also make the public aware of the services we offer so that, if there are families with pets who are struggling to take care of their animals due to financial or personal circumstances, they know they can reach out to PAWS for support,” he said.
Mr. Gatta extended his gratitude, on behalf of PAWS, to all the volunteers who assisted with the dog wash, particularly the veterinarians and veterinary students, and to the Turtle Nest Inn for offering its parking lot as a venue. He also extended a special “thank you” to Island Veterinary Services for donating flea and tick prevention medication.
“Without the generosity of our volunteers, Island Veterinary Services and the Turtle Nest Inn, this dog wash could not have occurred,” he said.
“Together we were able to do a lot of good in the community of Bodden Town.”