Santa Paws raises money


Four-legged family members can get into the Christmas spirit at Paw it Forward Pet Pantry and Rescue Dogs Rock NYC’s inaugural Santa Paws fundraiser on Dec. 15.

There, pets can pose with Santa Claus while their parents raise money for the two organizations.

Danielle Scala, the owner of Valley Stream-based Paw it Forward Pet Pantry, organized the fundraiser because she knew that other pet stores host similar events to help the stores financially.

The Santa Paws fundraiser on Dec. 15 will benefit Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, a nonprofit that spends about $30,000 a day rehabilitating injured or abused animals.

“She helps me raise awareness and raise funds,” said Carol Breunig, a volunteer and founding member of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC. “So, it’s wonderful.”

Breunig partnered with Scala for the fundraiser, and together they were able to find a private location in Freeport to host the event. They thought “it would be better because we don’t know if it’s going to be a money maker, since it’s our first time,” Scala said.

She is also asking every participant to donate pet supplies to benefit her organization, which helps pet parents in need.

“There are so many people who can barely feed themselves,” she said. “So with Paw it Forward, we take a little pressure off of them with the cost of food for their pets.”

Breunig said she also hopes the event brings “attention to the starving animals in this county and the abused animals in this country.”

She added that she would like to raise at least $1,000 because “we need the money.”

The Santa Paws fundraiser will be held at 134 Cary Place in Freeport from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 15. Photos cost $5 to be emailed and $10 to be printed.