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“They carried pictures of their dogs, held leashes that once connected them to their pets, and recalled the memory of that loss as they walked.” That’s how event coordinator, Randall Marino described the ‘Puppy Up Walk Monessen’ event. After two very successful years, raising $24,000 for canine/human cancer research and support, and working side-by-side with the national organization Puppy Up in Memphis, Tennessee, the group wants to bring the funds home. Through the success of these past endeavors, the committee was encouraged to bring the money raised back to the Mon Valley, where there is a great need.

“We were overwhelmed with the support of local people, but there was a constant howling, as people asked for assistance with pet care,” said Marino.

Through the dedication and hard work of this committee a new non-profit was established. Mon Valley Paws, a 501(C)3, will continue to pursue the efforts of supporting all animals in need, however all fundraising money raised will now stay locally. Mon Valley Paws, will be working with veterans’ organizations that provide service animals, providing stipends to local shelters and rescue groups, and assisting local residents with pet care needs. Thus, the group will continue working for the betterment of dogs and the funds will remain in our backyards.

The overwhelming support that the group received from the many sponsors, business donors and individuals, and the four-legged walkers, has motivated Mon Valley Paws to continue to their passion of distributing funds to our pets. The committee believed, after much research, the avenues selected would allow Mon Valley Paws to freely distribute funds locally.

The Mission Statement of Mon Valley Paws (MVP) allows committee members to provide assistance to individuals and other non-profit organizations who specialize in health care and rescue of animals. Mon Valley Paws hopes that the Valley will continue to fight for the rights of their furry friends! Please follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/MonValleyPaws. Further fundraisers include a walk-a-thon, biscuit bingo, puppy food truck and canine trunk or treat. Look for the organization to run with the big dogs after September.

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