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With Community Support, Centre County PAWS Is Overcoming Pandemic Challenges

by on September 28, 2020 11:45 AM

By DJ Bauer. This video is produced by and for Centre County Report and is shared through a partnership with

They say that a dog is a man's best friend, but in a time when isolation and loneliness are common, any pet can be the perfect new companion.

"We laugh because often the animal chooses them," says Christine Faust, of Centre County PAWS. "They'll come in to look at... 'Oh I want to see that black cat,' and then they go into a cat room and a kitty will walk up to them, purr, jump up on their laps and the next thing you know they're applying to adopt."

Faust helps run Centre County PAWS, a nonprofit non-euthanasia pet adoption center in College Township. Its mission is to find new homes for as many cats and dogs as possible.

Initially, the COVID-19 pandemic hit PAWS hard. It lost nearly $10,000 in revenue as all adoptions were closed until June. But that didn't stop an overwhelming amount of fostering support from the community.

"At the beginning of the pandemic, 90 percent of our animals were placed into foster homes," Faust says. "We were very, very grateful that Centre County [community] members just reached out and said 'How can we help?'"

Faust says that on average, the animals at Centre County PAWS are usually only there for a couple of weeks. So it usually doesn't take long for cats and dogs to find a loving home.

PAWS is always looking for community involvement. In fact, one of its big fall fundraisers, the Fur Ball, is set for Oct. 9.

The usually in-person get-together will be going virtual for the first time. 

"I think one of the interesting things about doing it virtually is our target audience now is just so much greater than it was," Faust says. "People aren't spending $150 to come to dinner, but they are getting online. Anyone can do it. It's completely free, but if you want to make a donation or purchase or watch it you do have to register."

The PAWS Fur Ball will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 9. There is no cost to register and watch the livestream, and participants will be able to bid on items and purchase raffle tickets. A silent auction opens on Oct. 2 and closes at 8 p.m. on Oct. 9. For more information visit

The Centre County Report is produced by students and faculty from Penn State's College of Communications. It is designed to serve a dual purpose. It is a source of news and information to the residents of Centre County.
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