Paw Works serving Southern California area rescue dogs

Paw Works (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Paw Works, Inc.)
Paw Works (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Paw Works, Inc.) /

The animal rescue organization Paw Works is serving Southern California rescue dogs and cats by finding them forever homes.

Paw Works is a Southern California animal shelter and rescue organization based in Thousand Oaks, and they have been part of two Tails of Joy specials from the Hallmark Channel.

For more information on Paw Works, see their website for more details.

Dog O’Day got to chat via email with Chad Atkins, CEO and co-founder of Paw Works, to learn more about its beginnings.

“I grew up with dogs all my life,” Atkins said. “However, when I moved out on my own at 18, for the next five years, I was without a pet while I attended college and kept a full-time job.”

Once out of college, a romantic relationship led to his getting involved in rescue causes, which evolved into operating a doggy daycare and boarding service that morphed into creating Paw Works.

“After volunteering for a local nonprofit animal rescue in 2013, I noticed a lot of pitfalls that many rescues fall into (not running as an efficient, effective business that utilizes the goodwill of its community),” Atkins said. “It was this frustration that catapulted my desire to take my knowledge and skill to make a larger impact within my community and animals’ lives overall.”

So that led to the formation of Paw Works, by Aktins and Christina Morgan, in January 2013.

“We felt our biggest impact would occur directly within our community first, so we dedicated all our time, financial resources and energy by helping turn Ventura County into a ‘No-Kill County’ within the first 30 days of operation.”

An explosion of interest in the past few months during the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in over 600 dogs and cats finding homes, an increase of 400 percent. It took some changes to the Paw Works shelter facilities for this to happen, though, shutting them down temporarily on March 18 and and converting them into an adoption center.

“The support and response have been overwhelming. We have seen record numbers of animals being adopted and fostered.”

Hollywood connections never hurt

Since Paw Works is located near the Los Angeles area, there are numerous showbiz connections around, which is how the Tails of Joy specials came about.

Since 2015, Paw Works has worked with Animal Planet to send adoptable puppies to the annual Puppy Bowl, with three dogs taking part in this year’s Puppy Bowl XVI.

And every year Paw Works puts on a Ties and Tails Gala as a major fundraising event, which will be scheduled for October 3 this year. Past guests at this event actress Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) and singer Katherine McPhee.

Atkins suggests a lot of ways people can help out their local animal shelter – by fostering or adopting if they’re able to make that kind of commitment of money and time, of course, but also by volunteering to assist the staff (cleaning, taking photos, etc), attending fundraising events, or sharing their content on social media.

“Just get involved any way you can to make a difference!”

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Paw Works is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, and Dog O’Day is on Facebook at Daily Dog and Instagram at @DogODayFS. If you’d like to help us cover canine sports, entertainment and lifestyle, please apply here. At this time, contributor roles are volunteer-only, but we’re working on growing to the point where they can become paid positions.