Paws Animal Welfare Society, Inc. (PAWS) is a nonprofit organization that rescues homeless cats in the St. John Valley, Aroostook County, Maine. We provide shelter for cats until we have found suitable homes for them. Most of the cats were house cats that have been abandoned. They are very friendly and the majority of the cats only need to be given basic medical care in addition to being spayed/neutered before going into a permanent and loving home. However, about 25% of the cats need more extensive medical treatments, such as dentistry, blood tests, x-rays, minor surgeries, etc. which we provide before they are offered for adoption. Some of the cats need to be socialized before placement because they were born outside and had lived outside for a long time. All cats remain with us either at the shelter or in a foster home until a suitable home can be found for them; only seriously ill or injured cats with little hope of recovery are euthanized. This rarely happens. Unfortunately, we must focus on homeless cats; we do not have the space or resources to take surrenders into our shelter.
On May 30, 2015 we opened a new shelter. Although it is small, it doubled the capacity of our former shelter which was owned by the Fort Kent Police Dept. This new building which sits on an acre of land has modern conveniences which meet the needs of the cats, our volunteers, and the public very well.
In the fall of 2017, we embarked on a major expansion project that more than doubled our size and was completed in July of 2018. This new expansion has improved amenities including a properly ventilated isolation room where cats can recover in a hygienic environment. We also have a large main room where cats are free to climb wall shelves for exercise, birdwatch from cat trees near the numerous windows, and enjoy an enclosed "catio" where they can get fresh air.
Our mission is to spay and/or neuter as many cats as possible in order to reduce the population of unwanted cats and kittens and to give all of the cats in the community a better chance at a good quality life. To support this mission, PAWS spays/neuters and vaccinates kittens/cats four months or older before they are placed in homes. We also provide financial assistance to cat owners who need help getting their cats spayed/neutered through clinics, voucher programs and direct assistance.
We welcome anyone who wants to help better the lives of unwanted cats. For information on how you can help these deserving cats and kittens, please check the Donations and Volunteer sections of this website. We are very grateful for our current group of volunteers and supporters. We could not do this vital work without them.