Four Your Paws Only Wins PPN SuperZoo 2015 Trip, 10,000 Meals from Halo
Pet Product News International and Halo, Purely for Pets are proud to announce Four Your Paws Only of North Conway, N.H., co-owned by Brian and Kathy Ahearn, as the winner of the trip to SuperZoo 2015 and 10,000 meals to its partner shelter.
More and more pet retailers are partnering with local shelters for everything from adoption events to promoting awareness and hosting fundraisers. In the spirit of partnering, Pet Product News and Halo banded together to honor the ways retailers are working with shelters. There were many submissions, and all entrants are doing such good work to provide for shelter animals and help them find their forever homes, but Four Your Paws Only tipped the scales.
“We have been working with many different animal shelters and rescues ever since we opened our doors in 1994,” said Kathy. “We have dedicated ourselves to improving the health and welfare of animals because we have a passion for pets that doesn’t stop when we go home at the end of the day. Animals are always in our hearts.”
Four Your Paws Only hosted its first shelter meet and greet in 1995 for Harvest Hills Animal Shelter, which at the time was the only shelter in the area within an hour’s drive. Buoyed by its success, the Ahearns partnered with Lakes Region Animal Shelter, located even farther away.
Throughout 1995 and the years that followed, customers began to drop off abandoned cats, kittens, birds and other small animals at the store. The Ahearns tried to find them homes through word-of-mouth at the shop, but as time went on, it became increasingly clear that there was a pressing need for a local shelter.
In 1999, Kathy joined a group of people to form what is now known as the Conway Area Humane Society (CAHS). As a founding member of the board of directors, she was active through the original capital campaign, building process and grand opening in 2003. She remained active on the board until 2007.
Kathy and Four Your Paws Only gave one of the first monetary donations in the amount of $5,000 to the shelter’s building effort—a great deal of money for a fledgling business to part with.
Since CAHS’ inception, the store has continued to support the shelter in many ways.
Four Your Paws Only supports all events that it hosts throughout the year by donating products and gift certificates. It sponsors many CAHS events, including Bark in the Park—Walk for Animals, which has remained the shelter’s largest annual fundraising event for 17 years.
Four Your Paws Only also supports the CAHS Golf Tournament, the CAHS Kennel Program and the CAHS Paddy O’Paws Benefit Lunch & Auction. From the store, new CAHS adoptive families receive “going home” bags full of product samples, store coupons and a free bag of pet food.
The store often hosts in-store adoption events not just for CAHS, but also for other rescue groups.
“We continue to hold meet and greets for hard-to-place shelter animals, during which we host a dog or group of dogs at the shop to try and raise awareness,” Kathy said. “We have taken in bunnies and other small animals and have had great success in getting these overlooked animals a second chance at being adopted. We’ve also had great success with [CAHS’] Kitty Wagon, and many of our employees have fostered animals from the shelter.”
Each year during the holidays, For Your Paws Only hosts two shelter fundraisers: Turkeys for Tails and Pet Photos With Santa Paws. Together these events raise about $1,500, and all proceeds go directly to CAHS.
When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the store partnered with CAHS to raise money to help pets in need. A few years after that, when CAHS struggled to maintain the funds required to run its facility, Four Your Paws Only held an emergency fundraiser that helped the shelter meet its $100,000 goal in 10 days.
The store frequently donates used or returned pet products, pet food, discontinued care products and discontinued gift products to the shelter, and extends a line of credit and offers shelter-use items at wholesale pricing.
In 2009, Brian and Kathy were an instrumental part in building CAHS’ dog park, located directly behind the shelter, serving on committees and donating funds to meet monetary goals.
Four Your Paws Only also has shared support with many other rescue groups and animal shelters over the years, including A Long Journey to a New Beginning Animal Rescue, the Elaine Connor Center for Wildlife, Green Mountain Pug Rescue, Maine Greyhound Rescue, New England Rottweiler Rescue and others.
“CAHS knows they can always count on us for support 100 percent,” said Kathy. “Our passion and commitment to helping animals made us very excited to win this contest. We will be able to give even more back to the Conway Area Humane Society for everything that they do for pets in our area.”
Please visit fouryourpawsonly.com to learn more about the store, the Ahearns and their continuous efforts to partner and help animals in need.