Thursday, January 27, 2011

PAWS Grand Opening Party in the Mission: Biggest News in 23 Years for PAWS

John Lipp, Bevan Dufty, David Campos, and the San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal

The biggest news in 23 years for Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) happened on Jan. 22 in San Francisco's Mission district. An enormous white edifice took supporters’ breath away when they approached the grand opening party, and many stopped and stared while thinking of the previous seven less-suitable locations of the organization. Lots of dogs on leashes were also eager guests at the event, and treats for them and for the cats who no one dared to bring, were provided.

The food and other pet supplies are housed in a huge warehouse space and smiling food bank manager Prado Gomez was at the counter. There also is an inviting clinic treatment space and multiple offices, Striking enormous cat paintings by Chuck Bierwirth adorn the walls. An anxious dog owner said that the artwork was too cat-sided, but he was coolly chastised for complaining about an event that was so canine-dominated.

PAWS executive director John Lipp received sustained boisterous applause for his vision and leadership and he in turn complimented the volunteers who made the move to the new space and the continuation of PAWS possible. CA State Senator Mark Leno brought a proclamation. Former District 8 City Supervisor Bevan Dufty and current District 9 City Supervisor David Campos had a good-natured verbal duel about the PAWS headquarters moving from the Castro to the Mission.

Lipp spoke with enthusiasm to guests about the cost-saving that the new location afforded so that direct services for clients and pets will be possible. Some clients were tearful when they described how PAWS had enriched their lives with a pet and with support by delivering pet food after they had become physically challenged. The PAWS blog has similar touching stories.

John Lipp, Kevin, Lou Seal, and Sidney

Thousands of people have volunteered and received services form this organization in a city appropriately named for Saint Francis of Assisi, the lover and caregiver of animals. The next 23 years of PAWS are guaranteed to be even better at the exceptional new location.

PAWS is located in San Francisco at 3170 23rd St.

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