Make A Difference: Foster 

As I am sure you have read on my site, I am a woman on a mission to change the world one dog at a time. Mom of many both my own and fosters, rescuer, volunteer, advocate and animal activist. No dog left behind! I was recently asked by one of the rescues I am involved with to share with others in the group why I foster. Today, I would like to share my response with all of you.

This is why I foster… The best thing in the world is coming home to a foster/rescued dog greeting you at the door. There is nothing in the world better than the feeling of knowing that I have changed a dog’s entire world. There is nothing better than the unconditional love that I receive in return.

We live in a world where bad things seem to outshine the good. There are things like courage and self-sacrifice, that is not only inherent in people but also in our four-legged furry friends. I believe that everyone can learn something from these brave and noble rescued animals. I learn something new from every dog that comes through my door.

Many of the foster dogs come with heavy pasts that are filled with abuse and neglect. When I first bring home a foster/rescued dog, one of two things happens: the pup is either terrified and refuses to leave the refuge of a corner, or is off-the-wall excited and turns my home into his/her personal toilet.

Despite the challenges, I know these dog are worth the effort. I put up with the nervous growling, constant accidents, torn-up wee wee pads and occasional dog fights. Slowly, he/she begins to trust me; they learn the commands and overcome their fears.

Helping a dog and seeing him/her blossom into a silly, loyal, wonderful companion is one of the most rewarding parts of canine rescue to me. Some dogs will leave my home and get adopted into loving forever homes others may need to stay here long term, but that’s ok with me. I have fought and will continue to fight in order to save the lives of those who would otherwise have been put to sleep for being labeled as “aggressive”. The best feeling in the world is when that dog that spent 2 weeks in a corner afraid of people gets to the point of putting her head in your lap as if to say thank you for saving me, I love you.

Fostering rescue dogs changed my life and I believe that every single one of my family and friends lives would benefit from fostering or adopting a pooch. I may come off as slightly crazy, but I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing. There is always that hope that someday those family and friends who think I’ve lost my mind will join me and help too.

My message to everyone is to get out there and rescue an animal that needs saving. If you can’t adopt, foster, if you can’t foster, donate, and if you can’t donate, educate! I guarantee you your heart will be filled with an abundance of love and happiness that you have never felt in your life!

Pictured in this post are just some of the MANY dogs I have rescued/fostered over 20+ years.

Shelter Spotlight: “Home Is Where You Belong” – Socrates

Often times people place blame on a dog’s behavior and just label them as a “bad dog”, a “bad breed”, “aggressive”, etc — none of these labels are ever the dog’s fault. A dog’s behavior is molded by his surroundings and his history, including the human beings that train him to do bad things instead of good, or maybe don’t train him at all. Often times, these dogs end up in shelters.

The shelter environment is intensely overstimulating and detrimental to a dog’s long-term behavioral, mental, and emotional health. I have met some long-term shelter dogs and “lifers” who have simply lost their ability to to function in the way they should. They can show signs of destructiveness, fearfulness, and tendency to flee. Of course the shorter the dog is in a kennel the less detrimental the effects, but most dogs experience stress on some level when in a kennel.

Meet Socrates; this boy wonders why he has yet to find his forever home. Believe it or not, this handsome boy is coming up on his one year anniversary at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Socrates’ lengthy stay is beginning to take its toll, and my heart is breaking just thinking about how Socrates must be feeling.

Situations like these make me wonder why so many people think dogs don’t have feelings. Dogs absolutely have feelings just like you and me, processing sensation and emotion much like we do. Studies have shown they’re capable of feeling optimism, anxiety, happiness, fear, depression and more. There is evidence that dogs who experience traumatic events experience symptoms of PTSD, just like humans. Kennel stress symptoms is the reaction to the trauma of living in a shelter. When observed in an MRI, a dog’s brains react similarly to humans’ when exposed to emotional stimuli like the sound of a baby crying. They also experience pain like we do.

Socrates came to the shelter after being found as a stray in March of 2017 and at the time was a very happy go lucky boy who loved going for walks and playing in the yard. While some dogs seem to handle shelter life better than others, Jill, Socrates’ best buddy at the shelter told me that sadly the stress of kennel life is changing him and he’s breaking down. He has begun to act out of character and unless we can get this boy out and into a foster or forever home soon he will continue to decline and ultimately as with many long timers, it will become more difficult to find him a home. Let’s not allow this to happen to Socrates!

Socrates is approximately 2 years of age, house trained, crate trained, knows his basic commands, and loves playing with toys–especially tennis balls! He is not only handsome but he is very smart, affectionate and loves people. He has come a long way with his training, but still has more to go. Socrates will need to be in an adult only home (17+) with a dog savvy individual who will continue to work with him. He is highly treat motivated so teaching this boy comes with ease.

Continued training and mental stimulation is a MUST for this boy! If you are unable to commit to this, then Socrates is not the dog for you. Socrates also gets along well with other dogs, a proper dog meet and greet is of course required so they can get to know one another.

So here I am dear family, friends, readers and followers asking for your help yet again. Socrates doesn’t deserve to sit and deteriorate behind bars 23 hours a day, no dog does. Please find it in your heart to foster or adopt this sweet boy. He needs a loving home where he can decompress and learn to become the best furry family member he can be.

If you are not in a position to foster or adopt, I ask that you please share. As I always say, sharing is caring, sharing can help change a dog’s life. That one right person out there waiting for a boy like Socrates, they just have to see this article so let’s get it out there for everyone to see and ask them to share too. If you have Facebook, head over to Socrates page, like, share, help me network this handsome hunk. Together we can find Socrates a way out from behind those shelter walls!

Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter

3320 Beltagh Ave

Wantagh Ny


Shelter Spotlight: Coat Of Many Colors

At almost any animal shelter you will hear about how it’s more difficult to find homes for black dogs. As I’ve discussed in earlier posts, this is due to something known as “black dog syndrome”, which supposedly leaves countless healthy dogs by the wayside while lighter-colored dogs get adopted. One study found that adopters perceive lighter colored dogs as friendlier or less frightening, leading to a negative association of black dogs and adoption.

But, were you aware that other studies have suggested brindle dogs may be more likely to experience longer delays before adoption than black dogs? Dogs with brindle coats — especially Pitbulls, are the least likely dogs to be adopted and the most likely to be euthanized. This kind of bias should really get us thinking and people need to see animals for who they truly are without regard to color.

Today in the Selter Spotlight, I would like to re-introduce you to this handsome boy Cola. I have shared Cola’s story with you many times before yet he still spends his days alone behind bars; he is sadly the longest resident at the Yonkers Animal Shelter. He has been waiting over 2 Years now and it just breaks my heart thinking about how he must be feeling so unwanted deep down inside.

Cola arrived at the shelter as a stray in October of 2015, and it’s really too long for such a handsome fellow to be without his own family. Cola was born to be someone’s true-blue best friend, could it be you?

Cola is an almost 4-year-old, 70 lb goofball and has the most heart-melting gaze. He’s one gorgeous brindle Pitbull-Mastiff Mix boy who wants to be the apple of your eye; for now him being the only pet is recommended. When he first arrived at the shelter, he did seem to be okay around other dogs, but shelter life has changed him like it does to so many dogs, so he may possibly be dog selective. A meet and greet is recommended to assess this situation. He is not fond of cats, and a home with children over 10 would be best.

Cola is very smart, and has excellent kennel manners. He is a low-maintenance kind of guy that just wants to be loved. He’s a sweet, cuddly, couch companion. He is very affectionate and people loving! Cola also has an adventurous side, he would love to be your adventure partner, but he’s also happy to chill at home and be your TV watching partner too.

Cola is just an extremely sweet dog, and would make a great companion. He cannot wait to meet his forever family and start showing his love and affection for them! His ideal home would let him join in on any family adventures. He loves outside time so a fenced in yard is a must, he loves loves loves tennis balls, and outdoor play so he would be thrilled to join a family that appreciated that too. Mostly, Cola just wants a home that will love him forever!

Growing up behind bars is not where he should be! Please help me help Cola find his forever family so he can live the life he truly deserves! Cola is very easy to fall in love with, head to the shelter for a visit, when you meet him, you will see why he would make a wonderful best-friend!

PLEASE SHARE TO HELP COLA!! Share this post with everyone you know and ask them to share it too! If you have Facebook, please head over to Cola’s page, like and share that as well.

Yonkers Animal Shelter

1000 Ridge Hill Blvd

Yonkers NY

(201) 981- 3215

Shelter Spotlight: I’m All Yours

Here we are again my friends, another heartbreaking story of a girl that has been tossed away by those she thought loved her. What makes this story even sadder is that it has happened to her twice! Her name is Olivia and unfortunately her story is a sad one. I am hoping and praying that one of you reading this can help make it better…

In October 2015, Olivia and her my brother were brought in to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Their “owners” decided to move out of the home and left them tied up in the basement. This is how the family that loved them treated them?

The only reason they were even found was because the neighbors complained that they were hearing cries for help. Olivia and her brother were brought to the shelter in not the best condition. Although Olivia’s brother was lucky and was adopted into a loving home almost instantly, she waited 446 days in the shelter. Think about all the things you have done in 446 days—for her that time was spent sitting in a cage alone.

Then the big day came, on Christmas Eve 2016, Olivia’s wish came true and she was adopted! For over a year she lived a good life, happy, in what she thought was a loving home. Unfortunately, that happiness came to an abrupt end in late January 2018 when she was returned to the shelter; her owner was moving and Olivia simply did not fit into her moving plans. Just imagine how heartbroken and confused this poor girl must be!

The first 446 days Olivia spent in the shelter had already caused enough emotional damage, but now to be returned  has broken her spirit. She is very scared and confused and needs to get out now! Sadly people don’t seem to care or realize the devastating effects all of this can have on a dog. Where’s your commitment? What kind of example are you setting for your future generations? If your dog can’t be treated and loved as a family member you don’t deserve to bring them into your home.

So here we are today in search of a REAL forever home for beautiful 3 year old Brindle Boxer mix Olivia. She is desperately in need of a foster or adopter, she is shutting down. Even though she may not be on death row in a kill shelter, this can end her life! People need to wake up here big time!

This sweetheart loves to cuddle, and while she did live with another dog in the past, the stress of the shelter has gotten to her and she needs to be your one and only pet! No dogs, no cats. Olivia will require a very savvy experienced owner to get her over all of this emotional turmoil. Household must be ages 17+

I ask that someone please step up and give Olivia the chance at a real forever home like she deserves! Trust me, you won’t be sorry, I guarantee you’ll fall in love when you meet her!

Please share Olivia’s story with everyone you know and ask them to share it too. Sharing is caring, sharing is key, sharing can make a huge difference in her life! If you have Facebook, you can also head over to her page, like and share that too. Best yet, head down to the shelter and take this girl home and make her part of your family!

Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter

3320 Beltagh Ave

Wantagh NY


In The Arms Of The Angels

People often wonder how they can help impact on a homeless Shelter or Rescue Dog’s life. If we all went by my first instinct when puppy dog eyes look up at me, everyone would adopt!

Paws Gives Me Purpose exists on the kindness of strangers, the dedicated supporters who follow our efforts, the loyalty of friends, veterinarians, hospitals, rescues, shelters, and private individuals who view us as a staple in the rescue community. Know that you are helping to make a difference in dogs lives and that you are the driving force behind me.

The need to help shelter and rescue dogs has grown, and we will continue to put all our efforts into helping those who cannot speak for themselves! We owe our incredible success to your generous support and trust in our mission.

Although we have been part of the Rescue community for 20+ years, we did not go public with our work until now. While it is our goal to become a 501c3 organization, we have yet to accomplish this; we provide for these pups dependent upon the private donations of generous individuals and out of our own pocket. We are limited on both space and funding, as well as physical ability limiting the number of dogs we can provide assistance to.

We realize there are many great organizations to give to and we appreciate that you might consider a small donation to Paws Give Me Purpose so we can continue to help save more dogs lives!

I know not everyone is in a position to donate or become a sponsor and you may be asking what other things you can do to help. Well you can….

Foster a dog: You can provide a temporary home for a shelter or rescue dog until they are adopted. This does more than just help socialize the pet and get them accustomed to a home environment. This frees up space for another dog to be cared for at the shelter. Many Shelters and Rescue organizations will provide all the food and vet care that you would need for the dog. All you need to pay is your love and attention!

Volunteer: One of the best ways to help at your local Shelter or Rescue is by just spending time with the animals. It really does make a difference in a dog’s life for them to receive love and attention! This can help pups become more comfortable being around people, which in turn helps them make a better impression on those looking to adopt.

Share on social media: Liking, sharing and commenting on posts increases the dogs exposure on social media sites and the likelihood it will be seen by someone looking to adopt a new furry friend.

Last but not least, make sure your own dogs have identification tags, that are up to date, and make sure they are also spayed or neutered. Of course another way to help ease overcrowding in shelters is to bring home another four-legged friend to keep your current dog company!

Adoption is my addiction, how about you?

Chicken Liver Veggie Stew

Looking for a homemade dog food recipe you can prepare for your pup? If you want to make something special, this healthy recipe for a yummy chicken liver and veggie stew is just the thing.


  • 2 lbs raw chicken livers (you can also use beef liver if you prefer)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil for pan


  • chop the liver, carrots and broccoli into bite size pieces
  • brown liver in hot skillet with olive oil
  • add water to make a simmering gravy
  • allow the liver to simmer on medium heat until all traces of pink are gone
  • once the liver is thoroughly cooked add in carrots and broccoli and let them cook for a few minutes
  • cook them long enough so they become one with the stew– but still hard enough so they retain as much raw goodness and nutrition as possible
  • add water as needed to keep moist
  • cool to warm before serving to your pup

Recipe adapted from:

Featured Dog Friday

While the story I am about to tell you may sound familiar to all of you, it is nonetheless heartbreaking. I have found that in this vast universe of ours that the word commitment doesn’t mean much to people anymore. Merriam Webster defines commitment as the following:

“a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future

b : something pledged

c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled”

These are all activities we participate in day-to-day life, so why is it when it comes to a dog, a family member, it’s non existent? When we get tired of them, we toss them away like yesterday’s newspaper.

It’s very simple and I want ALL of you to pay attention, even those of you who are committed because you can help those who are not seeing what they are doing and maybe even feel it too.

Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment. A dog is a living breathing animal with feelings just like you and me! It hurts me to see them hurt when they are abandoned.

Meet Mimi, an adorable 9-year-old pocket pittie, who was surrendered to the shelter by those she thought loved her in November 2016. The reason given at the time of her surrender was behavior issues. Instead of her family finding her a trainer or behaviorist, she was tossed away. Due to them, Mimi has now spent a long stretch of time behind bars.

Mimi was extremely terrified when she arrived at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter and it took her some time to decompress. Now she is just a total goofball with the people she knows and loves. Once Mimi knows and trusts you, she will allow you to do anything to her — she is beyond tolerant and sweet with “her peeps”.

I spoke with a couple of Mimi’s buddies at the shelter. Emily, who works at the shelter stated that it was originally thought Mimi needed time to warm up to new people, but over time she is seeing that Mimi either likes someone off the bat, or doesn’t. If she does seem to like someone, they still will need to go slow and let her come around to them. With this in mind, Mimi will require a savvy owner, who will understand this, appreciate her, and give her the time she needs to decompress. She will also need to continue training in her new home because she is so wary of strangers.

In a recent post I mentioned listening to the experts and those who know the dog best, Mimi is a direct example. Training needs to continue once a dog is in the home, no if’s, ands’, or but’s about it. If you can not commit to this, Mimi is not the dog for you. For those who can make that commitment she is waiting to love you forever!

Since Mimi will take a while to trust you and is wary of new people, she needs an adopter who is available to make several visits to spend time with her at the shelter. An adopter with the desire to get to know Mimi and come to see her a few times before taking her home. After all this sweet angel has been through it is going to take a few visits to gain her trust. But once you are her ‘person’ she trusts you 150% percent! She is the most incredible, loyal, tolerant, loving girl, I promise you, your effort is worth it!!

Mimi is house and crate trained, loves to kiss, roll around in the grass, play in the yard, cuddle and just hang out. She also enjoys an occasional game of fetch, knows some basic commands, and is currently working with her buddy Emily on her leash manners. A fenced in yard and ADULT ONLY home is recommended. She is selective with dogs and seems to like low key companions. If you have another dog, a meet and greet is required. She must be with at most one other fur sibling as a multiple dog household will be too much for this sweet girl. As for cats, Mimi will be cat tested upon approved application as this is shelter policy.

Kennel life is so stressful for Mimi. Her days are spent with her going into her crate on her own, and trying to fall asleep. Kennel life is not fun, and Mimi is just exhausted. It’s very sad.

I also had a chance to speak with John, a shelter volunteer who is very close to Mimi. John told me:

“She doesn’t sleep in the shelter. When I take her outside, one of the things I like to do with her is lift her up into the back area of my SUV, where I have a couple of blankets laid out. After a couple of minutes of looking around, she settles down. She sits, then she lays down, then she rolls onto her side, then she closes her eyes, then she might start snoring. She is trying to catch up on all the sleep she’s lost at the shelter. Unfortunately I have to eventually wake her up to take her inside, and I look into those bloodshot eyes and my heart breaks”.

If you read this entire article you should be feeling what I feel when I look into this beautiful girl’s eyes! If all of this isn’t bad enough to deal with take note that Mimi is also considered a Senior dog, and people are reluctant to adopt a senior dog because they fear that the time with their new best friend will be short. While there can be lists written about the pros and cons of adopting a senior dog, they still deserve to be rescued too! Adopting a senior dog is wonderful! Owning an senior dog is priceless, so head out and adopt one!

Mimi is waiting and we need to help her find her forever family. I ask that you please share this article about her with everyone you know and ask them to share it too. If you have Facebook, head over to her page, like and share that as well. Help me network this beautiful girl so that she can finally relax and be loved the way she truly deserves to be!

If you are in a position to adopt open your heart, get in your car and head down to the shelter. Don’t delay, start visiting this precious soul. I promise you you won’t be disappointed, I guarantee you’ll fall in love!

Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter

3320 Beltagh Ave

Wantagh NY

(516) 785-5220

Be sure to head over to Adoption Central right here on Paws Give Me Purpose and share Coco and all the other Featured Dog Friday pups still in search of their forever homes.


Shelter Spotlight: Happy Tails

Paws Give Me Purpose would love to share another wonderful update! S’mores, one of the many dogs I have featured in the Shelter Spotlight Series, has been ADOPTED!! Have a happy life sweet boy!

Please continue to help me network all of the other dogs I have/will share with you. Together, we can find homes for ALL of the beautiful souls that are still waiting!

Thank you all for caring, sharing, and helping make S’mores dream come true!

Shelter Spotlight: Looking For Someone To Lean On

No one notices him, no one asks to meet him. Alone and unwanted this beautiful boy waits to be a part of a family…

This 80 pound meatball came to the town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh, NY as a stray in March 2016; unfortunately since that day, he has been waiting for his forever home. Banjo is one of the shelters top 10 longest residents. Why is he still waiting? Is it because of his looks, his breed or that he needs to be an only pet? None of those reasons are valid for the lack of interest in this terrific boy. I know that needing to be an only pet can make it more difficult to find a home, but I also know that there are many homes out there that meet this criteria. Just open your heart and step forward!

Banjo is a 3-year-old goofball who is extremely sweet and has the mushiest cheeks and lots of fans at the shelter. Although Banjo is adored and well taken care of at the shelter, there is a sadness in his eyes that is indescribable.

Banjo’s shelter buddy Jennifer describes him as super affectionate and calls him a giant blonde teddy bear. She says he’s not a very treat or food motivated dog. He has no concept of his large size and strength and just prefers to sit and lean on her. She told me that Banjo has the softest squishiest cheeks you will ever feel. To quote her, “they are like velvet I swear!”

His shelter buddies work with him on his obedience, and he is doing great! He knows his basic commands, does well with leash manners, and is also known as a ‘leaner’, which just melts everyone’s hearts!

What is a ‘leaner’ you may ask? This is a term used by shelter volunteers to describe dogs that like to simply sit and lean on their person and get attention. Banjo leans to be pet and have his chin and neck scratched. Banjo does like the yard but does not require tons of activity. He’s not very interested in running or playing a lot of fetch, he’d rather cuddle.

Banjo does have the tendency to get a little over exuberant and excited at times, and will jump and become mouthy. The volunteers are working with him on this issue, and he will require a savvy owner who will continue his training to help him become the best furry family member he can be. Due to his large size no young children in the home for this boy as he may just knock them over; older teens would be best. Banjo also would do best as a solo dog.

This big blonde teddy bear is the complete package and deserves to be in a loving home and not sitting in a shelter kennel. He just wants to be loved, and who could blame him. Please help me help Banjo find his forever family! Share this post, if you have facebook, head over to his facebook page like and share it too.

If you or anyone you know are interested in this handsome boy, don’t hesitate. Head down to the shelter and meet him. Let him ‘lean’ on you and show you just how wonderful your life can be with him in it!

Town of Hempstead Shelter

3320 Beltagh Ave

Wantagh NY


Shelter Spotlight: Happy Tails


Baby Love has LEFT THE SHELTER!! Thank you to Diamonds in the Ruff Rescue for pulling this boy to safety.

Thank you all for caring and sharing! Baby Love is now one step closer to his forever home!

Please continue to help me network all of the other dogs I have/will share with you. Together, we can find homes for ALL of the beautiful souls that are still waiting!