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Thank you to all involved

By Staff | Dec 17, 2019

To the editor:

As we come to the end of 2019, we are very thankful for the many people that helped our effort over the last year, especially all of our contributors and adopters. We’re also thrilled that the hurricanes left us alone and we had no major storms!

In 2019, PAWS (Protection of Animal Welfare Society) has provided for the needs of many animals, some for very long periods of time. The majority are cats since dogs are usually claimed rather quickly as they’ve managed to get out of the house/fence or loose from a leash. We have very few dogs that are dumped on Sanibel. Many young, injured and sick animals came our way during the year that needed veterinary care, medicines and intensive home care. We provided for litters of kittens, as well as adult kitties and found wonderful homes for all of them. Joan and Jim Bajek continue to foster kitties for us. They are the only foster home we have currently. If anyone is able to foster kittens, cats or dogs, contact Pam at PAWS at 239-472-4823. We are so grateful to these great folks for providing a home and caring for all these babies. We have no facility here on Sanibel to house our lost, abandoned, sick and injured animals. It can be really difficult to find a home to care for them until we find their people or, as in most instances, find families to adopt and give them a forever home. We are so very thankful for all they have done, and continue to do. Kudos to Joan and Jim, especially Joan, the primary caregiver!

We would like to thank our fabulous local veterinary care providers: Dr. Mark Mathusa at the Beachside Animal Clinic and the VCA Coral Veterinary Clinic of Sanibel and Fort Myers. They provide quality care to our sick and injured animals. Special thanks to Dr. Michael Rohlk, Mary Ann and Nick at the Rohlk Animal Hospital in North Fort Myers. I discovered this hospital when helping out with the Trap/Neuter/Release program. They provide excellent services and care and a great discount for non-profits, which is very helpful when you have a half-dozen animals to vet at once.

A big thank you to all the folks who donated financially and in other ways to support our PAWS animals this past year. Without the help from our island community, we would not be able to continue to provide for our domestic animals that are in need of shelter and care. We have many folks who provide ongoing support during the year and without them we could not operate. They truly keep us going.

Special appreciation to the Center 4 Life that each year for the past nine seasons has hosted the Annual Justine Smith Memorial Bridge Tournament and donated the proceeds to PAWS, which was one of Justine’s favorite charitable organizations.

Special thanks to our local newspapers, the Island Reporter/Sanibel-Captiva Islander and the Island Sun, for donating space for pictures and stories about our rescues in their weekly papers. This is how we manage to reunite some of our PAWS animals with their families. In the event we don’t locate their people, their pictures and stories help us locate a new forever home.

Thanks to all the island businesses that display our PAWS donation boxes on the counters, Bailey’s General Store, Huxter’s Liquors and Bank of the Islands. As always, special thanks to Footloose H20 Outfitters at Jerry’s Center. Linda and all the staff make it part of their job to continuously collect the largest amount of funds for us! What they do is so appreciated. If you own or manage a business on Sanibel or Captiva and would be willing to have one of our donation containers, let us know.

If you’re considering year-end charitable contributions, please think of our domestic island animals and donate to PAWS. Veterinary care, especially critical care hospitals, are extremely expensive. PAWS is a 501(c)3 non-profit that was established in March 1987. We operate solely by financial contributions and donations from folks living or visiting our islands. If you itemize deductions on your federal income tax return, all donations are completely tax deductible. Make checks payable to PAWS and forward to P.O. Box 855, Sanibel, Florida 33957. Your canceled check is your receipt, but if you prefer to have a letter, email sanibelcat@embarqmail.com or contact Pam at PAWS at 239-472-4823.

If you’ve ever spotted a white cat on the Causeway Islands at the high span, that’s Tobie. He is a feral cat and came through the TNR program at Lee County Domestic Animal Services. Huge appreciation to Yolanda Rivera and Rose Dakos for visiting him every night with a wonderful dinner! He is so lucky to have such kind people to care for him. He’s much safer out there than he would be on Sanibel or Captiva. No gators, bob cats or coyotes!

Pamela D. Sullivan