Under the Knife: PAW Supports Local Animal Shelters

People for Animal Welfare is an organization working to raise community awareness of animal right, both locally and globally.

According to PAW President junior Yanush Sanmugaraja, last fall, PAW facilitated a drive to raise supplies for animal shelters. To motivate students to collect supplies, Sanmugaraja said that PAW turned the drive into a competition for residence halls, with supplies translating into points.

PAW received funding for the supply drive through Inter-Residence Hall Council. Sanmugaraja said that members had a difficult time convincing IRC to grant funding for the project because it didn't think it would be feasible for students to obtain animal supplies.

PAW was able to collect over 200 supplies, however, and donated them to the Scottsville Animal Shelter. Putnam Hall won the competition and received a $100 Amazon.com gift card.

“It ended up working really well, which was a surprise for everyone,” Sanmugaraja said

PAW also hosted a jungle-themed dance party called KnightGlow on Feb. 1 to raise money for H.O.R.S.E., a nonprofit horse sanctuary in Pavilion, N.Y. Sanmugaraja said PAW members wanted to help the sanctuary because its two owners were both recently diagnosed with cancer.

PAW also hosts guests to educate students about animals. According to Sanmugaraja, upcoming visitors include be a police officer accompanied by his police dog. He said that the officer will hold an information session on the role of the dog in the workplace, and will have the dog demonstrate its abilities to find drugs and explosives.

According to Sanmugaraja, another upcoming visitor will be Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a dog school dedicated to matching the blind and visually impaired with guiding eyes dogs, along with training and lifetime support services. He said Guiding Eyes for the Blind will bring along some the guiding eyes dogs and will hold an information session.

PAW members volunteer each week at local animal shelters near the Geneseo campus, including the Scottsville Animal Shelter, Hearthside Cats and Livingston Dog Control Facility.

At the shelters volunteers bathe cats and dogs, walk them as needed and work to socialize them.