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Cold, Hungry, Scared

Poor Economy Increases Deaths Of Innocent Pets

  • People are losing their homes, their jobs and being forced to give up their pets. Pets are ABANDONED to streets, struggling to survive!

  • Shelters across MA are overwhelmed with homeless pets

  • There are many wonderful pet owners out there who would love to adopt, but frightened by the poor economy, adoption isn't an option for them.

  • Cats and kittens are being left or dumped to the streets!

A Helping Paw needs your help to increase homes by making ADOPTION an affordable OPTION.

Please join AHP in our life-saving campaign - Pets N' Crisis.

With your donation of $25 or more you can help send a pet home by helping reduce their adoption fee. You can even pick which pet you would like to send home. See a partial list of our pets below, when sending your donation please give a second choice incase the pet you have chosen already has a sponsor. Your business can even sponsor a pet and have their business listing mentioned.

Donations can be sent to: A Helping Paw, Pets N' Crisis, Box 387, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

*Update: We put our campaign to the test. For two weeks we reduced the adoption fee of many of our kitties to see if we could still find responsible, loving homes. We are thrilled to announce, the reduced adoption fees have led to 1 dog, and 10 kitties getting homes! These pets were difficult placements, many had been with us for near two years. Pets that required extra care and would have been euthanized. Each home was carefully screened (quality of homes is more important than quantity). In order to continue this life-saving campaign, we desperately need the community to get involved. We've proven we can increase adoptions in these poor economic times, now please won't you help us continue.


A very discouraging letter from our little kitty Agnus...


  My name is Agnus, I thought I found my forever home when I was adopted over a month ago. My new mom said she would never part with me and my brother but I guess it was a lie. You see, a long time ago I developed a nasty virus. I was near death. It took over 3 weeks of syringe feeding 4 times a day to keep me alive while my body fought the virus. I fought hard to stay alive, I'm so full of life. I didn't want to die. I am a survivor. Sadly, I will always suffer from some mild symptoms. The lady who adopted my brother Monty heard about me and said my mild problems didn't bother her. In fact she called us her little bubbly-nosed twins. Everything seemed to be great, she said she loved us so. Next thing you know, we were being tossed in carriers and dropped back at the shelter. What did we do wrong???? Whatever it was we didn't mean too. It is so very sad for the volunteers who work so hard to save our little lives. People get angry because shelters kill kittens that become sick, yet at the same time, they won't give us homes. I have to ask, how many of you humans out there have medical problems? Kitties are living beings just like you, please stop treating us like material objects that are returned to the store when a part breaks. Apparently we have even less value than your car, at least when something goes wrong with your car you bring it in to be fixed, something goes wrong with us you just dump us back at the shelter as if we have no value. Is there anyone out there that cares that I fought hard to live?  Someone who truly cares enough to give me a home? *Note from AHP, the public decides these kitties fates. If they don't give them homes, then we can't rescue them. They will be destroyed. We currently have 6 special needs kitties. Depending on their needs, adoption fees are waived or reduced. If these kitties aren't adopted, then others just like them will be killed. It's up to you, you decide their fates.

 Thank you to our amazing volunteers and donors - they are the ones that enable us to  feed and care for over 80 pets a day! Our volunteers are great at cleaning over 20 litter boxes a day and giving meds to the ones in need, even giving personal love to each and everyone, but this leaves us very little time for raising funds. We are great at the messy part, won't you consider helping with the money part?

Please consider adopting a kitty today!

By adopting a kitty, you are making room in our shelter so we can help save another innocent life from starvation and death. Baby kittens are born on the streets everyday - we can't help them unless adoptions and financial support increase. These poor little guys will never know what love is - they will spend everyday frightened, in search of food and water trying to avoid becoming food themselves. Won't you please help them by adopting or making a financial donation today.


Home For The Holidays

Kitty Wishes

I wish upon a star so bright, I may get a home tonight.

The shelter has saved my innocent soul, but is it too much to ask  to have my own bowl.

 People come and people go, always with promises of taking me home.

If promise was truth,  50 homes I would have had 

Yet here I  am, still behind bars.

 Though I’m so grateful to be alive, I would like to know the joys of living.

 I promise to not ask for much, my only demand is your unconditional love.

In  return, I will give you my joy, my friendship and my loyalty.

 My debt to you will only be fulfilled once I leave your gentle arms and join my friends at Rainbow Bridge.

 Star so bright, please find me a home tonight.

Mastercard/Visa   WELCOME!

Hot Deals That Raise money for our shelter click here:



Our pet friends are so excited. This handsome boy, Saki was featured on Life With Cats! Looking for some wonderful, heart-warming stories? Go visit their site today at:




Percy is a very frightened boy as you can see, his eyes show fear - but gently pet him and the fear melts away... read his story below.

Ruben was adopted from a litter by my mother 5 years ago. My mother instantly fell in love with him. We always said Ruben was a God send from my father, who had passed away 5 years before she adopted Ruben. Ruben is the most loving cat. He loved to just sit in my mother’s lap and purr and be patted. My mother and Ruben shared a very special relationship. Ruben always greeted everyone at the door by rubbing up against them when they stopped by my mom’s house. Everyone loved Ruben. One day, while Ruben was sun bathing on my mother’s kitchen floor, near her sliding glass doors, another cat appeared on my mother’s deck. Ruben and this cat would just stare at each other. My mother noticed that the two cats were actually “pawing” each other through the glass doors. My mother, a cat lover, starting feeding the other cat, which was a stray, and eventually, “Percy” (named after my son’s favorite book) made his way into my mother’s home. Ruben and Percy became best friends. They were always together. Ruben was very outgoing and Percy was timid. It was as though Percy would wait until he received Ruben’s ok that the coast was clear. They shared a special bond. Unfortunately, my mother suffered a disabling stroke in the fall of 2011. I took care of the cats for my mother as we had always hoped that she would be coming home. After receiving the devastating news that my mother would not be coming home we had to sell her house. I had to find somewhere for the cats to go. For several months, I made posters, sent emails, talked with everyone I knew, called no kill shelters, anything and everything that you can imagine. I even had pictures posted at their vet’s office. When the house sold, I was running out of time. I started calling everyone again and again. Sent mass emails out to every shelter in MA. Everyone was heartbroken about the situation; however, everyone was at their full capacity. I wanted the cats to stay together as long as possible because they had been through so much together. It was even suggested to me that I put them down and I absolutely refused to. My husband and I grew fond of these cats, but unfortunately, due my son’s allergies, we weren’t able to take them into our home. We went to their house at least twice a day to care for them. In the fall, when we started taking care of the cats, we would see Percy run and hide. Ruben was always there to greet us. On several occasions, we would close the door and pretend that we were gone. Ruben would run up the stairs, where Percy was hiding, and then they would both come down the stairs and go to their dishes and eat together. It was as if Ruben was letting Percy know that everything was ok. It was just touching to witness and experience their bond. These cats were part of my mother and I just had to find somewhere for them to go. I hit the jackpot the day Chrissy from A Helping Paw returned my email! I was willing to do anything to save these cats. I knew how much these cats meant to my mother and the bond that the three of them shared. I would not give up. A Helping Paw reached out to me and I was so grateful and relieved-Chrissy said “bring them here”. I obtained the vet records for Ruben and drove to the house that day to place the cats in crates for the trip to East Wareham. It was a very emotional time, happy for the cats that I found somewhere safe and loving for them, yet sad that they were leaving, which was another extension of my mother’s stroke. My husband suggested that he handle Percy and put him in the crate because of Percy being so timid and stray. We weren’t sure how he’d react. It took my husband 30 minutes to get Percy into the crate cardboard box. Percy definitely did not want to leave! Finally, Percy was in his box, all settled down, and we placed Ruben in his box. I opened the door to place the cats in the car and Percy squirmed his way out of the box and bolted out the door. Gone. We were shocked. I called Chrissy from the rode (crying) and she told me not to worry. Bring Ruben and she’d give me a have a heart trap to trap Percy, she said. That night, after saying good bye to Ruben, I drove back to my mother’s house and set the trap on her deck. Percy had gotten out of the house before, and he always came right back. The next three days were interesting…we caught three other strays, who all happened to like tuna fish. One cat even looked so much like Percy we thought it was really him until we noticed the cat was female. On a rainy Saturday morning, there was Percy in the trap! Thank goodness! We were so relieved. We brought him in the house and fed and talked to him to calm him down and we later drove him to East Wareham where he was reunited with Ruben. Chrissy and the staff at A Helping Paw are the most dedicated, compassionate people I’ve come across and just when things are really bad and everything seemed to not be going well, something wonderful came out of all of this devastation. We became friends with A Helping Paw and we will always remember what they’ve done for our family. Someone will be truly blessed with these two cats. I hope they are able to stay together. Their unconditional love is overwhelming and companionship indescribable.

With eternal gratitude,




YES, we've been adopted!

Star Fire

Did you know black cats are harder to find homes for? Sadly, this precious girl has been with us a long time. She is such a love - actually, she's even a bit dog-like as she greats you at the door. She is so interactive, she's always right there wanting to see what you are up to. Best in adult home as the only kitty, with all this personality you won't need another. Very low adoption fee for the right home.


Why do shelters ask for adoption fees? Vetting pets can be expensive, not only does your adoption fee help cover vet care for the pet you choose, but also it gives us the $$ to help the next pet in need.  


Sushi - Just look at this precious doll! She's simply gorgoeus - Siamese, torti-point, with blue eyes. She's not big on being held and will do best in an adult home, but she surely will stay still for hours of neck rubs. Look at that face, most often it looks like she's smiling!

Black is Beautiful! Adopted!

Cushy & Tuffy are a pair of 'teen' boys looking for a truly special family. You can't get much more outgoing - these guys love everyone. They are super active and playful - though we are not requiring them to go home together we do ask that you have another young cat in the home to play with. Being part Siamese, they are  high energy, these are not 'starter cats' but cats for people who truly adore felines and their antics. As they may redecorate your walls with their claws. If you are a die-hard cat lover that respects a cat's need to stretch and exercise his claws then they are for you. Sadly, they have been with us a while - to help them find their forever home before the holidays we have reduced their adoption fee.

Kittens - Kittens

We still have several older kittens available, please contact us for more information.

 Adoption fee is $139.00-159.00 saving you $$ and includes: 1st worming, 1st vaccines, flea treatment, Felv/Fiv combo test, vet exam, a free take home starter bag and spay/neuter! These kittens were raised, in a caring-loving foster home.  


Please don't forget about our many other kitties that have been waiting forever for their loving homes: Wizzy, ...many of these kids are a bit extra shy, can you blame them? They have no idea what it is to have a 'real' home - at the care center they see people come and go all day - which can be confusing and doesn't offer them a sense of security. In the right caring home these guys will blossom and finally feel safe - are you that extra caring person who will consider adopting one of these special kitties? We offer low adoption donations for our special kitties.

Pet Of The Month

"Kittens Needing X-tra LOVE"

AHP is  a true rescue organization - this means we directly rescue pets from the streets so they may live happy lives away from the fear and starvation on the streets. Many of the cats and kittens we take in simply aren't adjusted to life with humans and it simply takes a little while for them to enjoy regular meals and the love from a human. After all, this is all new to them, living a life of fear is all they know, it's the only way to survive a life on the streets. Sadly, sociaty sees these wonderful animals as 'trash', something to be done away with and sadly for most they are destroyed. It is our job to teach them that they are now safe and that humans won't hurt them. AHP prides themselves on the work they have done with these special kitties, and tears come to our eyes every time one gets a permanent home - we know they will now be safe and cherished and we've made such a difference for them . Unfortunately few organization will work with these kitties as it can be time consuming and few adopters are willing to give these pets a chance. My first kitty, Dorothy, was one such kitty. At four months old she wanted no part of human contact. She hissed everytime I approached. The only time I was able to touch her is when we almost lost her due to distemper. She received nursing care constantly through out the day, reluctantly I might add, even in her weak state.  Thankfully she was strong enough to fight the disease and she made slight progress in socialization but was still very nervous around strangers. Needless to say adopters weren't interested in her. So I took her home - 6 years later she is one of my most lovable cats - many times I can't get away from her - she follows me through the house with her demand for love. Do you think you can change the life of a kitty? Are you that special someone? All these precious pets need is time and truly caring homes that understand what these cats have been through. The more love and care you put into the relationship the faster these kitties transform. If you would like to learn more please contact us at or call 508-759-2887. Many times discounts are given for adoption fees in order to place these pets in homes ASAP as it is crucial to have 'one' special person working with them. If you are unable to adopt but would like to save a life of a special kitty , we are always in desperate need of funding. Each cat or kitten we rescue costs over $150. for medical care and because many times we offer a reduced adoption fee in order to place them quickly we don't recoup the funds to help more. $150 per kitty may seem like a lot, but it is the difference between life or death!


Do you think it's fair to kill a sweet kitty just because it has a simple eye infection, cold or possibly FIV?  Did you know  shelters usually destroy these animals immediately? People complain because shelters don't want to medically treat these animals. Don't blame them, without people willing to adopt them they have no choice.  You can change this by adopting a kitty with a mild or temporary medical condition. You can make a difference. AHP never destroys these animals, though it can be expensive, these animals don't deserve to die,  we still hold out hope that we'll find enough compassionate people to save these kitties. Currently we have over 10 kitties in need! Great info on Feline Aids (FIV) 


Close your eyes to the problem if you'd like - but the fact is everyday thousands of pets are killed because there isn't enough homes and nobody wants them - yet people still let their pets have litters, thinking it's no big deal. These people are directly responsible for the deaths of innocent animals, whether they want to admit it or not.  Don't think there's a problem - go see all the bodies forced into barrels at a kill shelter on euthanization day - these are animals that are sweet, friendly and just wanted to please there caregivers. Stop closing your eyes -do something - donate regularily to a shelter, help pay for the spay/neuter of a stray pet, volunteer, get a MA pet friendly license plate, and most of all get your pet altered before six months! Preventing just one pet from having a litter can litterally prevent hundreds and hundreds from death.  For statistics on pet overpopulation  visit:

  Are you a responsible pet owner finding it hard to afford the cost of spay/neuter surgery? Don't worry, there's help, Click Here!

    Adoption Hours  

Tues: 10-5,  Wed: 10-7,Thurs & Fri 10-5, - Sat 1-5

These hours don't work for you? That's OK! We would love to set up an appointment so you can visit with all our wonderful pets.

A Helping Paw handles mostly, cats, small dogs, birds and critters. Cats are our priority, as unlike dogs, there are litterally hundreds and hundreds of them breeding and dying on our streets. As soon as the sanctuary in NH is complete and we've raised the funds we intend to add on 'doggie village', a happy safe place for our favorite K-9 companions to stay while they await great new homes. (We'd like to thank the kind gentleman who recently donated an outdoor kennel valued at over $400., this is a great help so we can start offering more dogs help until we have the funds for a building. )

 Adoption Procedure

Please be prepared when you come to our shelter:

A Helping Paw requires a completed application and adoption contract. If you own a home, please bring a copy of your latest tax bill, if you rent, you must have a signed letter from your landlord stating what pets you are allowed to have and how many (this letter must include landlord's phone number), also vaccination records for current pets. Please do not be offended if we tell you the pet you chose isn't the correct match for you. Unlike kill shelters who desperately try to place pets before they are euthanized, A Helping Paw 'matches' pets. If you have children and you choose an agressive kitty, neither you nor the kitty will be very happy. Applications are generally approved in three days, sometimes sooner. Looking for a kitty that can go outside, please let us know, many of the kitties we have are indoor-only.

We will send you home with a full pet adoption pack and cardboard carrier. If you have your own carrier, please bring it as it will help us save funds for better things.

Your adoption fee provides another pet with a 2nd chance at LIFE!

Kittens under 6 months -  $139. and up ~ Kittens under 1 year -  $119. ~ Cats - $99.

REDUCED adoption fees for pets with medical needs or those just a bit more challenging in need of cat experienced homes.

These fees are a great savings for you should you do the following on your own: spay/neuter, Felv/Fiv tested, wormed, advantage, rabies, distemper, vet exam. Our caring vets offer reduced rates to our pets and we pass the savings on to you!  

Birds - price varies, Puppies and dogs $250. - $350.00 and up depending on breed.

Small critters - price varies


Another happy adoption tail....

To all my friends above is a picture of my precious new baby. She is the cutest, sweetest little girl. She is really enjoying her new home and she is so much fun to watch. She is so thankful for the excellent care she received at "A Helping Paw" while waiting for her forever home! To anyone out there looking for a new pet, please go visit "A Helping Paw" - you won't be sorry! The staff is wonderful and they do a great job! There are so many animals in need and it really feels great to be able to find that special pet and be a part of their life and bring them into your home where they will be cherished and well cared for. I hope to spend many happy years with Chloe ("Chica") as well as the rest of her new "brothers and sisters"!

Joan Jones


Difference Between Kill and No-Kill Shelters

   During a recent fundraiser our volunteers had to be badgered by a man who was overly opinionated  about us being a no-kill shelter. And this is not the first time someone has rudely voiced their opinion to our hardworking volunteers. Stating that our ‘no-kill’ shelter is directly causing the deaths and abandonment of hundreds of animals a year by turning away pets. We are told we are worse than a kill shelter because our work is deceiving.

   For clarification: I, the founder, started this organization to save innocent animals from life on the streets and help with some of the overflow from other area shelters. I felt there was an important need for a place that could lessen the amount of animals dropped off at overcrowded kill-shelters. A place that was able to hold an animal until it was adopted instead of being destroyed when a new one came in. This organization was not started  to make it easy on people who found their pet to have become an inconvenience.

    Since this organization started we have helped hundreds and hundreds of animals who would have been destroyed in traditional shelters, get warm loving homes. Not to mention the thousands of animals that we have spayed/neutered to prevent further unwanted pets from winding up in shelters. Not all shelters offer spay/neuter assistance, the KEY to ending the homeless pet problem.  

   There are countless organizations out there and they all have different policies. Some are kill shelters that take in every pet, some are no-kill shelters that hold pets until they are adopted, there are no-kill shelters that only take in the 'best' pets, some rescue animals from Southern states and some only specialize in specific breeds. Just like no grocery store is the same, no shelter is the same.

    The majority of  kill-shelters are run by the town. Towns that don’t have a shelter will have a contract with a large shelter that also houses animals from other towns. Typically these shelters take in every pet, they have no alternative but to destroy ones that aren’t adopted quickly or have medical or behavioral problems. Employees are haunted by the daily cruelty they see and by nightmares of having to end innocent lives. Tax payers dollars are the main source of funding for these shelters. These shelters generally have not only paid managers, but also paid employees, and a veterinarian on staff,  relying on volunteers for additional help.

   No-kill shelters are generally small organizations completely run by the kindness of public volunteers who give up their precious time. Instead of destroying an animal as soon as a new one comes in, a new one is allowed in once another has been adopted. A few take in any pet regarless of medical needs or age, while others only take in 'highly adoptable' pets. Many small shelters offer spay/neuter programs to help prevent unwanted animals from being destroyed. These organizations rely fully on private financial donations and the funds they raise doing events and activities, they receive no town/government funding. 

   Granted with both types of shelters there are variances. Some no-kill actually destroy sick pets while others don’t. Some kill shelters will hold a pet for several months while others may destroy them the same day. Regardless of how a shelter runs, both types of shelters compliment each other and have the same goal of helping end needless suffering, cruelty and overpopulation.

   Setting up A Helping Paw as a no-kill was a personal choice by me. A Helping Paw was not organized as a dumping ground for people who no longer wanted their pets. We were organized to rescue  the countless animals living on the streets. If we have room, then we will help people who no longer can keep their pets. With two other kill shelters within a half hour distance,  people have no excuse to abandon their pets on the street. Our shelter is not responsible for idiots who are too lazy to drive to a  shelter or can’t face having the pet ‘put-to-sleep’ themselves so they drop them off at a ‘shelter’ so they can convince themselves the pet got a home. (If I have to hear one more time, “my cat will get adopted right away, it’s special”, I think I’ll puke!)

   Every time we are unable to take a pet in we make suggestions of how an owner can work out their problems so they can keep a pet, or make countless suggestions of other shelters or ways of finding a home for their pet. When will people take responsibility for their own pets instead of expecting a shelter to take on THEIR responsibility!

    Another good reason we are not a kill shelter:  as I mentioned, most kill shelters receive funding through your tax dollars, either directly or by contracts with the town. This allows them to have the vet and equipment necessary for euthanizing animals. A Helping Paw does not have a vet on staff, nor does it receive  funds from tax dollars. Not having a vet on staff means we rely heavily on the kindness and generosity of local vets that help our program. And when they are unable to help, such as in those 2 AM emergencies, we pay the same emergency visit price you would.  If we were to begin killing animals we would have to make an appointment with a vet, drive to the appointment and then pay probably $50. per animal plus burial expenses. We have a hard enough time keeping up with our bills now.  Considering we get more than 10 calls a week from animals needing homes that would be over $500. per week just killing animals, we don’t even take in $2,000. a month now, where would we get the funds to help save animals?

   Again keep in mind, unlike shelters who receive funds from tax dollars,  all of our funds are donated by kind generous souls, who want their funds spent saving animals, not killing them. And I’m not sure it would go over too well if I asked volunteers to spend a day raising funds because we need to euthanized some animals in order to make room for more.    We take in the ones that don’t stand a chance at a traditional shelter—ones who have lead fearful lives, every day searching for food on our streets, the ones that have a medical problem and would be immediately euthanized. Does Mittens Kittens deserve to die just because he is FIV positive? Did Marble deserve to die because his owner didn’t want to pay for his eye to  be removed when it swelled up like a ping pong ball? Do bottle babies deserve to die because it would be too time consuming to feed can care for them every two hours? Did Murphy, the Lasa Apso deserve to die because he had ongoing ear infections? Did little Susie deserve to die when some kids couldn’t keep her and left her in a plastic bag at an old-age center and she had so many fleas it made her anemic? Because traditional shelters are overcrowded, not one of these animals would have lasted a minute. Some say spending money on sick or injured shelter pets is absurd when there are so many more out there that need help. Yet isn’t this the same thing as an owner who doesn’t want to pay a vet bill so they euthanize their animal because they can get a new one cheaper? I wouldn’t adopt to a person that did that, so why should our organization do the same?

       As you see, not every shelter has the resources to take in every animal. Though we aren’t able to  help every animal out there, (which is completely unrealistic anyway) we do have an important role to play. By taking in as many pets as we can, less are having to be dropped off at kill shelters, saving hundreds of lives each year, in addition through our spay/neuter program we prevent thousands of animals from being born just to die. And all of this without one penny of your tax dollars.

   The killing will never end unless drastic changes are made. A Helping Paw is helping create that change. We are forever grateful to those who feel the same and offer their financial support so we can continue our good work. People shouldn’t pin no-kill shelters against kill shelters—but appreciate the important role both do in helping end animal suffering and cruelty.


Copyright 2010 - 2011