Want to know a bit more about PAW Team?
Here are answers to some of the questions we're asked most often.
follow our PAW Team stories at #whyPAWTeam
What is PAW Team?
The Portland Animal Welfare (PAW) Team is a Portland, Oregon based non-profit that provides free veterinary care for the pets of people who are experiencing homelessness or living in extreme poverty. In addition to basic veterinary care, such as vaccines and flea treatment, PAW Team also offers free spay/neuter surgeries and other lifesaving and life-enhancing surgeries.
Why should people that are homeless or living in extreme poverty have pets?
This is a common question. We believe that everyone deserves the companionship and love animals can offer. It has been proven that companion animals are therapeutic in many ways, especially for those with mental disabilities or those struggling with substance abuse. While our clients might not have a lot of money to spend on veterinary care, they love their animals just as much as anyone else and sometimes even more.
What makes PAW Team unique?
PAW Team is the only organization in the area with the sole mission of providing free life enhancing and lifesaving medical care to the pets of those experiencing homelessness or living in extreme poverty. We are also one of the rare organizations that benefits both pets and people by helping maintain the strength of the human-animal bond.
Is PAW Team affiliated with any other organizations?
No - PAW Team operates independently from any other local or national organization.
What services does PAW Team offer?
We offer free veterinary examinations, vaccinations, spay and neuter services, parasite control, medical grooming, pet licensing, prescriptions, food and supplies to the pets of eligible families and individuals.
How do I qualify for PAW Team services?
Clients must be homeless, living in transitional housing, working with a referring agency or able to provide proof of income below the federal poverty line. In addition, all pets in the household must be spayed/neutered or the owner must be willing to allow PAW Team to spay/neuter all pets at no cost.
To become a client please come in to the PAW Team office Tuesday through Thursday between 10:00am and 3:00pm (1718 NE 82nd Ave. Portland, OR 97220 - Directions). You must bring: (1) Photo ID; (2) Proof of income. You may also ask your caseworker at DHS for a Verification of Income Statement that includes all income sources (SNAP, WIC, TANF, SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, etc.).If you have no income, a recent month's bank statement will be required. We'll use this to make sure that you qualify for our services.
We are unable to qualify anyone for services who does not have these documents.
How is PAW Team funded?
PAW Team relies on the generosity of donors and grant-making organizations to fund our life-saving services. We do not receive funding from any other non-profit, social service organization, or government agency.
Why should I donate to PAW Team?
Your donation to PAW Team saves lives. Your support helps both people and pets. It insures that the pets of those experiencing homelessness or living in extreme poverty will not suffer because of untreated medical problems. Our services also prevent animal abandonment and over-population and help lost pets find their way back to their people.
Donors can be assured that every penny received by the PAW Team is put to work, keeping the vital human-animal bond intact. The evidence for this can be found in the thousands of healthy pets and people who, despite homelessness and poverty, are together and healthy today because of the free medical services PAW Team provided.
How can I help?
We heavily rely on volunteers to do what we do. To volunteer, please visit [www.pawteam.org/get-involved].
We heavily rely on donations to keep our food bank and supply room stocked for our clients. To donate pet food or supplies, please call us at (503)206-6033 or come by our clinic Tuesday through Thursday between 10am and 3pm.
How does PAW Team help the community at large?
The number of people in the Portland area who are homeless or living in extreme poverty is increasing at alarming rates. Many of these people have beloved pets in need of routine or serious medical care. PAW Team’s life-saving services not only alleviate stress and suffering among people and their pets but contribute to the overall health and spirit of the community.
PAW Team represents Portland at its most progressive, compassionate and inclusive best.
What is PAW Team's vision?
We envision a community where no animal must suffer due to the owner’s inability to pay for basic veterinary care.
How does PAW Team accomplish its mission?
We accomplish our mission in many ways.
• Veterinary Clinics – Thanks to the generosity of over 30 volunteer veterinarians, we can host weekly veterinary clinics. At these clinics we offer vaccines, parasite prevention, prescription medications, county licensing, and other supplies such as food, beds, leashes, and toys.
• Spay/Neuter Procedures – We offer our clients and their pets spay/neuter surgeries at no cost. In addition, we offer transportation assistance to and from surgery appointments for clients without reliable transportation.
• Education – We work hard to educate our clients and the public on the importance of spaying and neutering pets. To best protect our community from further overpopulation of pets, we implemented a spay/neuter policy stating that all patients must be spayed or neutered to receive our services. PAW Team will pay for all pets in a household to receive this service. However, owners must be willing to follow through with this procedure before being fully eligible for our services.
• Sustainable pet ownership – To ensure our limited resources can be used for the largest amount of good, we limit our ongoing veterinary services to two pets per household. This policy is aimed at encouraging our clients not to take on additional family members while experiencing financial hardship.
• Life Saving/Enhancing Surgeries – PAW Team can offer roughly 100 lifesaving and life-enhancing surgeries each year. These surgeries include major dental surgeries, mass removal procedures, amputations, and more.