Our Story

The story of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) NY began in 2008. Our founder, Rachel Herman, used to walk by a young homeless couple and their dog outside of her local grocery store. As an animal lover, she felt great empathy for this underserved, mixed-species family, so she would occasionally donate pet food or change. Eventually, she started to ask herself the questions that would lead to PAWS NY’s founding: “Are there other people in New York City that have pets but struggle to provide adequate care for them? And how can I provide more meaningful assistance?” After some research, she recognized that there was a huge need and no organization in New York City to provide for that need. Ultimately, with a Board, our 501(c)(3) certification, and our first group of volunteers, PAWS NY was born. More than a year later, on November 11th, 2009, our first volunteer visited our first client, and the PAWS NY story has continued on ever since.


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