Published December 16, 2008
Volume 16, Number 12

‘Claws for Paws’ Crab Fest: Delicious Support for Animal Rescue

Plan ahead! The Tri-Valley Animal Rescue’s annual crab fest, Claws for Paws, is slated for Saturday, February 7, 2009, and it’s always a sell-out. Now in its fourth year, Claws for Paws has carved out a special niche for itself on the “have-fun-for-a-good-cause” circuit. At this event the focus is less on rescued dogs, cats, and rabbits and much more on the crab, according to Tri-Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR) president Lisa Healy. Cash raffles might punctuate the all-you-can-eat dining, but most crab lovers won’t need more than a pair of crackers and the company of good friends to have a great time.

The crab fest is the “newer” of two well-attended events TVAR puts on every year. The fall fundraiser, That’s Amore, features a festive auction and animal-related prizes, while Claws for Paws is a more casual gathering. Nevertheless, both are important to support the all-volunteer, non-profit organization in its mission  “to end the unnecessary euthanasia of homeless animals.” 

Founded in 1992, TVAR offers at-risk animals—primarily those at Dublin’s East County Animal Shelter—another chance through its fostering and adoption programs. It also provides low-cost spay/neuter programs and educates the public about responsible pet ownership.

“We offer foster homes for homeless animals that don’t do well at the shelter, are ill, or are at risk of euthanasia,” explains Healy. The group does not take owner-surrendered animals, but it can help owners “re-home” their pets, saving them from being turned over to the animal shelter and a possible untimely end. Its Cinderella Fund pays for medical care for homeless pets, many of whose amazing recoveries are chronicled on the website, tvar.org.

TVAR is a familiar presence on Saturdays at the Pleasanton Farmers Market, where it usually displays a medley of appealing cats and dogs in need of new homes. Adoption is not a one-stop process, however. It starts with the behind-the-scenes volunteers, adults and teens, who undergo orientation and training before taking on any tasks. One of the key jobs is socializing the animals at the shelter, a fundamental factor in keeping them adoptable.  

Then there’s the fostering, which is how Healy and her family discovered the organization several years ago, when her husband had some free time and wanted to put it to good use. “We already had dogs, and we loved fostering, and we just got more involved as time went on,” she recalls. Foster providers commit to caring for an animal in their homes, establishing individual feeding and exercise routines, and taking it to vet appointments until it is either old or healthy enough to be spayed/neutered and adopted. They also receive training, along with food and medical care for the foster pets. Potential adopters must fill out an application and meet a number of requirements that ensure each animal is placed in an appropriate environment.

For Claws for Paws tickets or more information about volunteering, fostering, or adopting an animal, visit TVAR online at tvar.org, send an email to contact@tvar.org, or call (925) 803-7043.


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