PAWS of CNY, Inc., is a proud recipient of a grant from the NBT Bank Fund, a component fund of the Oswego County Community Foundation (OCCF). The funds were received in 2017 for use in 2018 to expand PAWS of CNY’s marketing efforts in Oswego County to increase its volunteer base and expand its reach of pet therapy services. The organization projects its grant-funded marketing efforts will result in a 70 percent increase in Oswego County volunteers by the end of the year. Also, it has established partnerships with two new long-term care facilities to provide pet therapy services.
According to Amy Dumas, PAWS of CNY Board of Directors members and manager of new volunteer services, the financial support received from OCCF has been critical in helping PAWS of CNY meet its goals of expanded pet therapy services in Oswego County.
“PAWS of CNY has been providing regular pet therapy services to nursing homes, schools, libraries, and to SUNY Oswego for over a decade,” said Dumas, “Yet over the past four years, we have seen the need for additional support in Oswego County. We have been committed to remaining a reliable partner of pet-assisted wellness services to facilities in Oswego County, and adding Oswego-based, qualified pet therapy volunteer teams to our organization will be critical in helping us meet this commitment.”
The grant funds received from OCCF were used to support email marketing, collateral development, social media outreach, and digital advertising efforts targeting residents of Oswego County. Since executing its marketing campaign, Dumas reports that seven Oswego-based applicants have passed PAWS of CNY’s initial pet therapy evaluation test, with two applicants completing all phases of the pet therapy certification process. Also, eight more applicants will be scheduled to begin the evaluation and certification process before the end of the year.
“We would not be able to reach our goal without the support of OCCF and Oswego-based doggie daycare and training facility, Paws and Effect, which allows us to utilize its facility to hold pet therapy evaluations,” said Dumas.
The PAWS of CNY marketing campaign has garnered interest from new facilities asking to add pet therapy services to its resident activity efforts.
“We have contracted with two new facilities to provide pet therapy services,” said Dumas. “We are thrilled to not only expand our volunteer base but to expand the impact we can make in Oswego County through the establishment of new facility partnerships.
Individuals in the Oswego County area who are interested in becoming pet therapy certified by PAWS of CNY should apply at pawsofcny.org/apply.