YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS) Animal Shelter and Rescue based at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) hosted a fundraiser to support the current feline residents of the shelter, July 27.
PAWS, a volunteer-run animal shelter established on CFAY in 1996 and the only military-affiliated animal rescue organization in the Kanto region of Japan, used a ‘kitten shower’ fundraising theme requesting wishing well gifts (cat litter, kitten formula, dry and wet food, etc.) for the ‘purrfect bundles of joy.’
"As an animal lover, it's great that (PAWS) is here to support the base," said Farooq Durrani, a civilian hygiene technician working at the base hospital. “I have had cats my whole life and came to PAWS because I want to add another member to the family."
According to Eshjel Canete, PAWS president, more than 50 animal adoptions have been facilitated by the organization over the past three years.
“We estimate that PAWS has saved approximately 1,200 since establishment in 1996,” said Canete. “Japanese animal shelters will not accept animals from Americans,” added Canete. “We are one of the few options available if they (service members) have to make the difficult decision to surrender.”
PAWS currently has adult cats, adult dogs and several kittens available for adoption, but the number constantly changes as kittens are found, animals are surrendered, and still other animals are adopted. “The best way to find out how many animals we currently have is to view our Available for Adoption album under photos on our Facebook page,” said Canete.
"It is important that people know about PAWS because it allows an opportunity to adopt versus buying," said Savanna Reeves, a Navy spouse who attended the ‘kitten shower’ and was interested in adopting a kitten. "I have been in Yokosuka since December and didn't know PAWS existed until now; I think it's important that everyone knows about the services they provide."
The shelter also holds an adoption night each Thursday, and volunteer orientation and kitten foster training bi-monthly, April through September.
“Active volunteers commit to 1-2 Care Shifts a month in which they sign up for either an AM or PM shift, and help to feed the animals and clean the shelter,” stated Canete. “Active volunteers also have the opportunity to come in for Love Shifts, in which they stop by the shelter at any time to play and socialize with the animals.”
The ‘kitten shower’ not only resulted in seven kittens being adopted and much needed supplies brought in, it also served to bring awareness to CFAY and the surrounding community of PAWS’ mission to rescue, care for, and find forever homes for stray and surrendered animals.
CFAY provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, 71 tenant commands, and more than 27,000 military and civilian personnel and their families.
For more news from Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, visit www.navy.mil/local/cfay/.