Paws Up For Pets

Inspiring compassion from an early age

Since 2018, PEAR has worked with youth and their families in Mecklenburg & Union County through our Pawsitive Thinking program. In October 2018, we launched Paws Up For Pets, an innovative education initiative that engages local youth to promote compassion for animals and in the community as a whole. A collaboration with 4-H Clubs, Paws Up For Pets works with mainly with children K-8 enrolled in afterschool programs in our county's most underserved areas. 

We empower youth to make a difference by showing others that they care about animals and by speaking up against abuse, bullying and discrimination. Our program tagline reads, “Compassion Counts!” Because when we teach our children empathy, we build caring communities.

The pawsitive effects

Our campaign aims to: 

  • Inspire a greater sense of compassion and respect for animals and other living beings.
  • Empower children in our community to speak up about neglect and abuse and to feel safe in doing so. There’s a proven link between animal abuse and family violence, and when children (and adults) report animal abuse, they could save more than one life. The ripple effects could be endless.
  • Promote the importance of spaying/neutering and provide free spay/neuter and other services to families in need. This way we will see a reduction in the number of unwanted litters of kittens and puppies, fewer animals in our shelters, and improved quality of life for pets and their owners.
  • Create awareness around shelter pets and the need for rescue/adoption. Through our shelter tours—more children will understand what happens when a family gives up on a pet. When children see pets as family, they are not as willing to relinquish their pets and let them languish—or die—in animal shelters.
  • Increase community engagement countywide and hopefully even on a state- and nationwide level. We hope that our campaign will serve as a model for other communities, state- and nationwide, in the years to come.

Support for our community outreach