Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Year’s Surprise: Paw It Forward!

Last week, I received a card in the mail. Assuming it was a belated Christmas card, I opened it and found a $10 bill in origami form from Citizens Paine, a PR agency located in Irvine, CA.

The card inside read:

“What would $10 buy you today? A dessert? A pedicure? A fancy cocktail? To someone in need, this $10 can mean a hot meal, a blanket, or a ride home.”

The handwritten note inside the card said:

“Help spread the holiday cheer by ‘pawing’ it forward with a simple act of kindness by using the $10 we’ve included.”

My mind immediately started running over the possibilities. There are several animal shelters and rescue groups in the Pittsburgh area that immediately came to mind - how to determine who should receive this gift?

While the three major animal shelters in the area would certainly appreciate a $10 gift, it wouldn't have the same impact as a gift to a small rescue group. In addition, if I sent it to an all-volunteer organization, I knew it would go directly toward helping the animals.

But there are several worthy organizations in the area – which one should I send it to? Then I read on Facebook that the Homeless Cat Management Team was having its free monthly spay/neuter clinic for feral cats, and I knew where to send the money!

The Homeless Cat Management Team is an organization whose mission is to humanely reduce the population growth and minimize the suffering of homeless cats through sterilization and the promotion of responsible colony management in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Services at their high-volume spay/neuter clinics include:
  • Spay/neuter surgery for cats and kittens, including a preventative antibiotic, anesthetic and IV pain medication. 
  • Rabies vaccination for all cats over three months of age. 
  • Frontline treatment for fleas, grooming to remove fleas, ticks, ear mites, matted fur, etc. 
  • Mandatory ear-tipping for spayed/neutered feral cats being re-released, for ease of recognition. 

There is an urban legend that one female cat can produce 420,000 kittens in just seven years. Actual estimates are closer to 100-400 kittens in a seven year period. But whatever the number, the fact remains that thousands of free-roaming cats never have homes and thousands of friendly cats die in shelters each year awaiting adoption. The fact is spay/neuter is prevention that saves lives.

So thank you Citizen Paine for allowing me to make a real difference by sponsoring one free spay/neuter surgery for a homeless cat!


  1. What a marvelous idea! You're the 2nd person I've heard received this and I love the concept. Wouldn't it be great if more organizations did this?

    1. I saw that Carol Bryant received one in December, but I haven't heard of anyone else. I love the concept, and I would love to see more organizations doing this!

  2. What a wonderful way to give back.....

  3. that is a great way to give something back

  4. What a great way to paw it forward. I hadn't heard of this pr campaign and what a way to get exposure for both.

  5. I gotted one of dem cards too! We halped buy sum doggy treats for da person in line behind us at Petco and One by One will be getting some of dat too :)

  6. Wow what a fantastic thing for a PR team to do! This is the first we've heard of it - how cool!

  7. What a great idea. So nice to know someone is actually practicing it!