New Animal Outreach Club Aims to Help Pet Owners in Need

Miranda Figueroa, Staff Writer

   Inspired by the non-profit organization Pets Are Wonderful (PAWS), students from UC High came together before Spring Break to create the Animal Outreach Club to help give aid to animals in need.   

   According to the County of San Diego Mental Health Services, “[PAWS] provides essential pet services and support to low-income individuals including the homebound, chronically ill, disabled, seniors, unemployed or homeless to help them keep their pets. Pet services include financial help paying for veterinary care, dog walking services, and help obtaining pet food” (

   According to the County of San Diego Mental Health Services, “[PAWS] also offers homeless support, outreach and specialized information and referral for financial assistance for veterinary care or other pet-related resources” (

    Animal Outreach Club Advisor Lisa Perry said, “I found PAWS back in 2006. It was a random encounter as a result of an online search for a non-profit that I could engage my students with while they were completing community service hours for my psychology class at La Jolla High School.”

   “PAWS has a rich history that began in San Francisco in 1987. Volunteers at a local food bank realized that their clients were actually using the food they received to feed their animals. This meant that clients were going without this food,” said Perry.

   “While initially focusing on HIV patients, the nonprofit quickly expanded to include homebound seniors and basically anyone who had a debilitating or terminal illness. In 1993, a kindhearted woman by the name of Nancy Lubin started PAWS San Diego and from her own home provided food to many local animals in need,” said Perry.

   “In 2014, the San Diego Humane Society formally merged with PAWS San Diego in order to provide more services to our local community,” said Perry.

   “My goal when working with PAWS years ago is the exact same goal I have today with Animal Outreach Club, which is to just be conduit between an intense need and a generous and caring community,” said Perry.

   “I would like our club, Animal Outreach, to work with several organizations and rescues to support them in helping animals. Millions of animals are without homes and experience improper care. Animal Outreach aims to reduce this amount and provide a voice for animals,” said Vice President of Animal Outreach Club Jaiden Callahan.

   “I believe rescues and non-profits are essential for improving the well-being of animals. PAWS is an excellent organization that helps sick or injured pets in need of aid. Through their medical care, advocacy, and educational outreach, they improve the well-being of animals day by day,” said Callahan.

   “Here at UC High, my vision is to moderate a club that will not only collect food and other essentials throughout the school year, but to also bring light to the plight or experience of animals in our local community and beyond,” said Perry.

   “Our club would love to work with PAWS in the future, but since we are just starting out, we plan to work with smaller animal rescues first,” said Callahan.

   “The smaller rescues are also very crucial in terms of finding those animals that slip through the cracks, like Road to Freedom Rescue, which focuses on street animals in Tecate. These smaller rescues don’t have access to media venues to promote their wonderful work, and our goal is to shine a light on them as well,” said Perry.