WHO WE SERVE
Pause4Paws is devoted exclusively to assisting individuals experiencing homelessness, mental illness or addiction by arranging free, safe and temporary foster care for pets while their owners receive the medical, mental health or substance abuse treatment they need. We are located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and serve the Tulsa Metropolitan Area.
Fierce bonds often prevent those in need of treatment from seeking outside help. The thought of potentially abandoning the one constant, the one unwavering love in their life, is simply unbearable.
THE TIES THAT BIND
In the animal world, pets belonging to the homeless are the jacks of all trades - a social tool, icebreaker, companion, protector, family. They often communicate easier with the outside world than their owners do. And, most are better behaved and socialized than pets living in conventional homes.
“You can’t have a dog barking in a tent or attacking others. Animals belonging to the homeless are highly socialized,” said Jeff Brown, who helps run Feeding the Pets of Tulsa’s Homeless. They help their owners interact with other people. Even strangers who wouldn’t ordinarily talk to the homeless, are less likely "to scream at a homeless person to get a job,” Brown said, and more likely to say, "Can I pet your dog?" And, the ice is broken.
In the perilous world of street life, pets sometimes are the only constant in their owners’ lives. “Their animals are never going to lie, cheat or steal from them,” Brown said. “They’re family.”
But, that fierce loyalty that binds animals and owners together, also can blind those in need of treatment from seeking outside help.
" ...[pet] owners will stay out in temperatures cold enough to freeze spit on a mirror because almost no shelters allow pets. They will be reluctant to leave an animal behind so that they can go somewhere for treatment. Owners have to be assured that in their absence a pet will be kept in a safe place," Brown said, "and that they’ll get their animal back."
YOU CAN HELP
Volunteer today. Become a pet foster. By temporarily taking in the pet of a loving pet owner, you'll help remove a barrier that all too often keeps them from accepting the critical care they so desperately need.