KIDK Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz found an organization that aims to rescue and rehabilitate animals. It can be hard a hard task and expensive to care for animals in need. Time to Pay It Forward.
It all began trying to come up with a way to provide low-cost spay and neuter services.
"Everybody said it couldn't be done," said JoLynn Anderson, founder and president of the Portneuf Welfare Society. But they did it with the help of Dr. Jason Moulton at Animal Health Clinic in Blackfoot. The Portneuf Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, was founded in 2004. The nonprofit states as its mission, a commitment to the rescue, fostering and rehabilitation of all animals victimized by abuse, negligence or injury. And they've been doing it Bannock, Bingham and Power Counties for more than 14 years.
"Everything from horses to dogs to, uh, I don't do snakes," said Anderson.
They now provide medical and dental services to these animals and vaccinations when the owner cannot afford it. That can be one of the big challenges as a nonprofit: the funding for education, pet food and the services. They get help from the Pocatello Animal Shelter, but it all boils down to the giving nature of the surrounding area.
"We operate on any donations that people give us. And we take food. Hay. We just got some hay from a gal," said Anderson.
PAWS currently operates with just 10 volunteers, like Arlen Walker.
"Well, I think all life is sacred and I've seen too many instances of abandoned animals, animals that should have been spayed or neutered that have kittens that get put out because of that, or puppies. And there is so much animal neglect in the world, I like to do what little bit I can to alleviate that," said Walker.
PAWS holds different events throughout the year to try and raise funds. Time to help out and Pay It Forward.
"And we are going to have another one (event) in October. We're always busy trying to find funds to operate," said Anderson.
"Excellent," said Kunz.
"JoLynn, how are you?" said a man walking into the room. "I'm Kory (Carling) with Mountain America Credit Union. And your organization has provided such a much needed service for our community, and all your time and efforts that you've put into it, that I'm here today to Pay It Forward. And I've brought with me today $500 in cash that I know you are going to put toward good use to continue to care for these animals. So on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, thank you for all that you do," said Carling.
"Oh, thank you. Oh, thank you," said Anderson, tearing up.
"You're welcome," said Carling.
"You stinker," said Anderson, looking at Kunz.
"Thank you, Kory. This is going to buy a lot of cat food and dog food for us. Believe me, a lot of animals this winter are going to have full stomachs. Thank you so very much," said Anderson.
"You betcha," said Carling.
"We appreciate this so much. Todd!" said Anderson.
"I'm pretty hard to trick. You got me."
The group also helps veterans with their dogs or cats, or even service animals. They even foster animals while a person goes through surgery or has to attend a medical facility for a lengthy stay.
If you know of an animal needs help or rescue, contact PAWS at 208-406-3904.
"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at firstname.lastname@example.org.