PAW Team tries to help homeless pet owners ahead of Springwater - KPTV - FOX 12

PAW Team tries to help homeless pet owners ahead of Springwater Sweep

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Volunteers with the PAW Team talk with people along the Springwater Trail about services they can offer for pets, including free veterinary care. (KPTV) Volunteers with the PAW Team talk with people along the Springwater Trail about services they can offer for pets, including free veterinary care. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The big sweep of the Springwater Trail is coming in just one week and ahead of that deadline a group of volunteers hit the trail Thursday to connect with homeless campers who have pets.

The Portland Animal Welfare Team, or PAW Team as they’re called, has been working for years to help people who are homeless stay with their pets by providing free vet care.

With the upcoming sweep of the trail, they said they have a lot of work to do.

As volunteers walked along a section of the Springwater near Southeast 82nd Avenue and Southeast Flavel Street, they said one of the biggest reasons people don’t go to shelters is because their pets usually aren’t allowed and they’re not willing to be split up with them.

The PAW Team was giving out information and water to pet owners, letting them know about their services and upcoming clinics for pet vaccinations and licenses.

Those are two things people will need if they’re going to have any chance of keeping their pets as they transition from the trail to housing.

“We’ve gone into a couple of the camps, we’ve met folks with some animals that we hope to see at our next clinic,” PAW Team Executive Director Cindy Sheel said. ”We’ve run into a lot of really helpful folks living out here who are helping transition the residents.”

Sheel said she’s not sure how many people on the trail have pets, but in Portland about one in every five people who sleep on the street do.

In the next few days, teams will be back out, bringing things like cat carriers and other supplies, to help people get packed up ahead of Thursday’s sweep.

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