A message from PAWS’ Founder, Ann Smith


Ann at one of PAWS’ first fundraisers

I have always loved animals and have been lucky to share my life with them since childhood. Anyone “owned” by a dog will tell you they have the same feelings that we do. Pets feel pain, joy, and fear, and they certainly feel love. Over time, I have come to realize that people do horrible things to animals, and sadly, our community is not immune. This is why PAWS has always been at the forefront of solving animal welfare issues.

Today, PAWS is a lifeline for local pets and their owners. It is the only animal welfare nonprofit in our region (Jackson, WY, Teton Valley, ID, and Star Valley, WY) that operates an open-admission animal shelter and offers social services to pet owners. PAWS helps financially when families face unexpected veterinary bills and provides low-cost spay/neuter vouchers. They provide safe shelter when pets are involved in domestic violence or natural disasters. And they offer outreach programs that promote responsible pet ownership. When a local pet needs care, they make it happen.

I am so proud of what PAWS means to our community. Like me, PAWS is guided by the belief that pets are more than just animals; they are cherished members of our families, our confidants, and often, our source of unyielding joy. Every animal deserves a loving home, and PAWS is here to help.

Will you join me in making a year-end gift to PAWS to help further their compassionate work? I consider this organization and its crucial work my legacy. With the additional expense of operating their shelter – now more than ever – your donation will ensure life-changing care for local homeless pets and lifesaving support for local pets in need.

As PAWS enters its 25th year – I am delighted that a generous donor has pledged a $25,000 matching gift! Every dollar donated up to $25,000 before January 1 will be matched, so please take this opportunity to double your dollars for local dogs and cats in need!

Please use the enclosed envelope to mail your gift or go to pawsofjh.org to make your donation online. Thank you for your generosity this year and always.

Ann Smith


Tundra’s new life!

Tundra is finally home!

Over the months, staff and her long-term foster gave Tundra the compassion, patience, and love she needed to build confidence, trust, and truly blossom. After many months at our shelter, she’s finally found her forever family! From pup-cups to hikes, to playing with her new best friend (a cow), Tundra is thriving in her life as a pampered pet.

Here’s Tundra’s holiday card.

And here she is enjoying fresh air on the Greenbelt in Idaho Falls. She’s a long way from her old life, living outside, guarding livestock.

We couldn’t be happier, and we thank her new family for giving Tundra the chance to thrive!

If you would like to help more dogs like Tundra, DONATE TODAY!

PAWS Shelter 2023 Fencing Project Complete!

PAWS would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Gloria Polis, Grant Winthrop and the CHC Foundation for providing the funding necessary to replace all the fencing, landscaping, and sprinklers for the outdoor dog runs and play yards at PAWS’ Shelter in Driggs, Idaho.

When we acquired the property, the grounds were in grave disrepair. See before images here:


Today, thanks to the incredible support of our pet loving community, our dogs are safe and enjoying fresh air, playtime and enrichment!



We thank you and hundreds of local, homeless pets also thank you for making this possible!

If you’d like to donate to facility improvements at the PAWS Shelter, click here: DONATE TODAY

Black Cat (and Dog) Appreciation

100 Cats, One Van, Two Decades

The PAWS DIFFERENCE: Local pets, local people. We say yes.


When I joined PAWS nearly 17 years ago, I was new to animal welfare and unaware of some of the issues facing local pets and pet families. As I settled into my new role, a call came from a frantic woman in Star Valley, who had more than one hundred cats on her property. She was distraught and needed help. As she cried, she told me she had reached out to several people, but no one was able to help her.

As I evaluated the situation, I suspected this was a hoarding case. At the time, PAWS did not operate a shelter or work with local mental health providers. What we did have, however, were relationships with local animal shelters. When I learned that the Star Valley shelter was full, I called the Teton Valley Shelter in Driggs, ID and spoke with the woman in charge. I described the situation, and we agreed that if we did not step in to help, neither would anyone else.

So, we loaded up a van with stacks of kennels, and I followed in my car to Star Valley. As we entered the house, we could not believe our eyes. Cats were on every surface; they were clinging to curtains and underfoot. The smell of urine and feces of a hundred cats was overwhelming. For the next couple of hours, we worked as quickly as we could and loaded them into the van.

On the drive back to the Driggs shelter, I cried all the way there because it was obvious that most of the cats were gravely ill and many, too sick to save.

It was an eye-opening experience that influenced how PAWS has operated since then.

PAWS is known for helping local pets and their people. We call it the PAWS difference. We say yes to pets and people in need.

Much has happened since then. Our organization has grown and expanded to help more local pets and pet owners. We now serve three regional communities: Jackson, Teton Valley, ID and Star Valley, WY. When PAWS acquired the Teton Valley Animal Shelter in 2022, this was a natural step for us. It is the continuation of a partnership that began nearly two decades ago with a van and one hundred cats.

With these changes, The PAWS Board recently decided to update our name and our logo. While we removed any reference to location, we remain focused on our small regional area in Western, WY and Eastern, ID.

PAWS is the first line of support for local pet owners facing animal-related hardships and we offer direct care for hundreds of local, homeless, lost, and endangered pets.

We have never faltered in our commitment to help local pets and people. As we enter our 25th year, we thank you for your unwavering support of our growth and evolution.

Thousands of local pets thank you, too!


With Gratitude,

Amy Moore

PAWS Executive Director


Amy and Derby, 2006