COVID-19 and Pets

Every day new information becomes available regarding COVID-19. At PAWS we advocate for pets and their people, and we’re grateful to see the cooperation with the COVID-19 restrictions within our community. Pets are undoubtedly lavishing in the extra time spent with us, but what does COVID-19 mean for their health?

Can COVID-19 infect our pets and is it contagious between pets and people

Coronaviruses have lived in animals for thousands of years, but only a paw-ful have caused human illness. This particular strain of Coronavirus, COVID-19 is very successful at spreading from human to human. To date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States and infectious disease experts agree there is no evidence to indicate that pets spread COVID-19 to people. There is also no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets.

What precautions should I take to protect my pet from COVID-19?

Pet owners should have all the necessary supplies to care for their pets for at least 2 weeks in case they cannot leave their homes. Exhibit cautionary behavior when recreating with your pets. Keeps your dog on leash and try to limit nose to nose contact as this will prevent the transmission of any infectious disease.

If you are not ill with COVID-19 you can interact with your pets as you normally would. You should remain focused on hygiene, washing your hands often, especially before feeding them and after cleaning up waste. Out of an abundance of caution and until more is known about this virus, if you are ill with COVID-19 you should restrict contact with your pets just as you would restrict your contact with other people. Use common sense measures to protect everyone around you. When possible, have another member of your household feed your pet and avoid direct physical contact.. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it is only necessary to remove a pet from a household with COVID-19 positive resident if the person is unable to care for the pet.

Now more than ever, the bond between pets and humans is incredibly valuable. We are all so lucky to share our lives with these creatures who keep us sane, entertained, and loved unconditionally. We hope that this information has provided comfort and assistance in planning for the future. If you would like an accurate up to date source of information regarding COVID-19 and animals please visit the AVMA website.

For all offered resources to the Jackson community during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the JH COVID website. If you are in need of pet-specific assistance our regular programs are still at work and you can apply for assistance via our webpage. If you are in need of COVID-19 related assistance such as pet food and/or emergency boarding please email us with your need and contact information to Please visit our Facebook page for a note from Dr. Dan Forman, Teton District Board of Health, regarding COVID-19 and local pets.


Celebrating the win’s

In the world of animal welfare, you win some and you lose some. Back in July of 2019 PAWS was granted approval to start transferring pets into the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter’s from other regional shelters. Because of our spay/neuter program and our continued support of the J/TC Shelter, fewer pets are being surrendered to the shelter. PAWS’ role in the transfer program is to select, transport and sponsor the pets’ medical needs while in-shelter. The J/TC Shelter staff cares for the pets and facilitates the adoption process. Since the start of this effort we have transferred 48 pets in from Star Valley and Lander, WY, and Teton Valley and Idaho Falls, Idaho. Here are a few share-worthy success stories from the pets transferred in since July.

Gracie plus 6
In October of 2019 we got a call from some colleagues in a neighboring area who desperately needed our help. A new mama hound showed up to their property emaciated with signs of abuse. It was clear she had delivered puppies, and that she was living outside unfed. Our colleagues convinced her owner to surrender Gracie and her puppies over to them, and that’s when PAWS stepped in. Gracie needed medical assistance and time to overcome her injuries and her puppies needed forever homes. In November, we transported all the puppies into the J/TC Shelter, where they were made available for adoption. Gracie stayed back with her original rescuers to receive medical treatment, put on some weight, and take a breather from being a nursing malnourished mama. By Thanksgiving all of Gracie’s puppies had found their forever families. Gracie joined the J/TC Shelter in December and found her perfect family in February. 7 hounds whose fates were unknown are now adopted and thriving. WIN!

Gracie in October of 2019.

Gracie’s first day at the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter.

Gracie’s adoption day.

Trapped, Neutered, Adopted
PAWS amped up our effort in the Trap, Neuter, Return of feral cats in 2018. We had incredible volunteers who stepped up and wanted to get to work. Many of the ferals we trapped were successfully returned to their original property and are thriving as barn cats. Others were more friendly so we were able to socialize and adopt them into new homes. In total, this program has spayed/neutered/returned or adopted out over 200 cats. It’s been WILDLY successful!

TNR volunteer, Jean, and a bouquet of adoptable kittens.

Adoption Day for two kittens from our TNR program.

Feral cat safely transported for altering surgery.

The Common Story
Some shelter pets have extreme stories (like Gracie), but most pets end up in shelters simply because their human has failed them. That was the case for Dougie, a dog who we transferred into the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter from Idaho Falls. When Dougie was found he had scars all over his face and was very skinny and scared. His life, so far, had been a tough one. During his 2-month stay at the Idaho Falls Shelter he was anxious and showed poorly. Due to overcrowding, he wasn’t getting enough exercise, enough socialization, and needed OUT! Dougie was transferred to Jackson in December, got the training, socialization, and hands on care he needed to calm down. We are thrilled to report he adopted by a fantastic human. Dougie can now be found wherever his dad is. He is his new forever shadow. WIN!

Dougie’s Adoption Day.

Dougie’s first night in his forever home.

Our most recent transfers are 6 female puppies that were found by Lander Pet Connection, living underneath a porch, on the Wind River Reservation. The puppies are currently in foster care and have a couple more weeks of growing to do before they are ready for forever homes. With the recent closure of the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter due to the precautions necessary with COVID-19 it is uncertain when the puppies will be available for adoption. Please keep up to date with our social media platforms and for up-to-date adoption information on these puppies.

5 of the 6 soon to be adoptable puppies.

Lander puppies getting some love from super star foster mom, Grace.

Introducing SeniorPAWS

We’re excited to introduce a new project called SeniorPAWS. SeniorPAWS is a new partnership project with the St. John’s Living Center that will enhance the quality of life of Living Center residents while providing a foster home for an adoptable dog pulled from a regional shelter. This is a symbiotic project, both people and pets greatly benefitting from their time together.


Joey, an 8-year-old special blend of chihuahua, miniature pincher, and anyone’s guess made her journey from the Snake River Animal Shelter in Idaho Falls to Jackson on Friday, January 10th as the first SeniorPAWS dog. We selected Joey based on her age, size, and initial plucky demeanor and it turns out she was originally surrendered to the shelter because of her elderly owner’s failing health. She spent her first weekend with our Program Director, Jess, and immediately made herself at home.

Meet Joey


Joey and PAWS staff dogs

While fostered by our staff, Joey received a much-needed dental cleaning and bloodwork panel to ensure this spry senior lady was healthy, and indeed she is. Joey was introduced to the Living Center, on Tuesday, January 14th and never looked back… all while we were sniffling to see her leave our office.

Joey and LC resident, Fred

Joey and L.C. staff member

Upon her arrival, Joey immediately fell right in-tune with Living Center staff and residents, helping herself to anyone’s lap without hesitation. Not only was Joey phenomenal with her new residents, but it was visible how much she enjoyed herself interacting with them. Living Center staff members relayed that residents who suffer from memory loss have been able to remember who Joey is, her age, and why she is there… it is truly remarkable. Director of Life Enrichment Connie Hansen states, “Joey has already brought much joy to many of our residents. Her presence is truly therapeutic for some.”

Can you tell that we’re leading up to something? We’re excited to announce that Connie officially adopted Joey on Monday.

Joey and her official adopter, Connie

Joey will be residing at the Living Center as the permanent SeniorPAWS Ambassador dog. Her life will serve a higher purpose. We are confident that having Joey permanently within the Living Center family will ease the future SeniorPAWS dogs’ transitions from the Living Center into their new adopters’ homes. It’s always difficult to let go of a foster pet, but Joey’s consistent presence will benefit the residents and will make transitioning future dogs out of the Living Center much easier. Once Joey is settled in, a new SeniorPAWS foster dog will be introduced into the Living Center community and then eventually become available for adoption. Stay tuned to meet them.


2019 Year in Review

PAWS of Jackson Hole’s mission is to prevent pet homelessness, protect pets from harm and suffering, and to promote responsible pet ownership. These key pillars of pet service help pets and their people and is done throughout Jackson, Star Valley, and Teton Valley, ID.


PAWS prevents pet homelessness by continuing to offer spay/neuter vouchers to people for their pets. PAWS Spay/Neuter program has made significant impacts on our local pet overpopulation problem. Thanks to veterinary participation and your support, PAWS funded over 1,165 altering surgeries in 2019.


PAWS MedFund program was extended beyond Jackson/Teton County this year to assist the increased unexpected vet bills people saw in our neighboring communities. PAWS MedFund enabled 114 pets to receive required, and often urgent, medical care to stay alive. As animal shelter medical budgets are often stressed, PAWS MedFund is also available for pets at local shelters.



PAWS protects pets from harm and suffering by supporting animal shelters that take care of homeless pets. In 2019, PAWS ShelterFund granted funds to Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter to purchase and install a new pet washing station, critical IT needs, and funds for dog training. In addition, we supported Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter with dog training and a PAWS staff member who spends part of her day assisting at the shelter and oversees the volunteer program. A huge meow of thanks to Pet of the Week sponsors, Graham-Faupel-Mendenhall & Associates and Spring Creek Animal Hospital, as they helped highlight adoption of local homeless pets.


SafePAWS, our partnership with Community Safety Network, supports pet needs of domestic violence victims. With a dog yard and a newly created cat safe haven at Community Safety Network, more pets are allowed to safely stay with their families during challenging times.

The PAWS Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) was not activated in 2019 but continued their hands-on training to help pets during a local disaster. Our partnership with Teton County Emergency Management continues to thrive, volunteers are highly engaged, and we remain very active with Jackson’s Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).



PAWS is the backbone of responsible pet ownership through our local communities. Through PAWS Mutt Mitt program we maintained 23 mutt mitt stations and provided over 150,000 mutt mitts for dog owners. The infamous Poop Fairy Brigade (supported by PAWS) and the PAWS-itivity Ambassador Team remain a positive influence on pathway and trail users and are easy to spot when out walking dog-friendly trails. Thanks to Snake River Brewing, Persephone, Teton Tails, and Pet Place Plus who reward pets and their people for good etiquette.


PAWS Education and Outreach programs taught Humane Education to over 450 students in Teton Valley ID and Etna Elementary. The children learn empathy and compassion for both pets and people and an array of topics that aid them in becoming pet advocates in their communities.


PAWS remains at the forefront of advocating for a year-around Dog Park in Jackson. The Winter Dog Park at the fairgrounds experiences thousands of dogs from November – April. Over in Idaho, PAWS has partnered with the City of Victor to help provide financial support to add a second entrance, create a fenced section for small dogs, and donated five Mutt Mitt Stations for the Victor Dog Park.


With thousands of rescue shelters and animal welfare organizations nationwide, what makes PAWS of Jackson Hole unique is that we focus on both pets and their people. We are incredibly thankful for our volunteers spanning over 8 programs, our partners who help us deliver these vital programs, and our supporters, whom without you none of this would be possible. To assist us in continuing to provide assistance to pets and their people please consider starting your year out with a donation to PAWS. Donate Today!

If you have any questions about PAWS of Jackson Hole please call 307-734-2441, email, or visit our website

Paws crossed for the PACT Act.

You may have heard the promising news? On Tuesday, October 22nd animals became one step closer to having more legal protection than ever before. On that date, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill called the PACT Act, that makes animal cruelty a felony. The PACT Act which stands for Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture, was introduced to the House by Florida congressmen Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanon and will revise a previous passed law, The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which bans “crush” videos, passed in 2010.

Florida congressmen, Vern Buchanan and Ted Deutch

Currently, federal law only prohibits animal fighting, and only criminalizes violators when they create AND sell videos depicting the actual cruelty. There is one more loophole for the violators. The current law prohibits the creation and distribution of these horrific crush videos, but the underlying acts themselves are still legal under federal law. The PACT Act will amend the federal criminal code to prohibit the intentional acts of crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or otherwise subjecting animals to serious bodily harm. This new bill essentially covers the intentional torture of animals, but not neglect, general welfare, or other issues.

The PACT Act allows authorities to go after the violators because they will have federal jurisdiction and will not be bound by state laws. If the bill becomes a law, there will be a federal anti-cruelty statute that would allow the FBI and other federal agencies to arrest and prosecute those who torture and kill innocent animals. Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, states “This is a chance for our nation to end the most heinous forms of intentional animal cruelty. It is a historic moment in our country when we can come together to protect those who have no voice. We are so close to ushering in a law that would generate monumental shifts in how those who commit animal torture are prosecuted.”

What needs to happen now? Now we hope for President Trump to sign it.

Paws crossed that the PACT Act is passed, but what does this mean locally? Of course, this new bill has exceptions. The exceptions include protection for potential violators from normal veterinary care, hunting and conduct necessary to protect life or property from a serious threat caused by an animal. The local spin on these exceptions: if your dog is chasing livestock, whomever owns that livestock can shoot your dog, legally. Dogs can still be chained up and living outside day and night. Hunting includes trapping, a topic that is all too familiar in our local communities with three trapping incidents reported over the last nine days. A word within the PACT Act that has some local familiarity is the word “intentional.” Webster defines intention as a determination to act in a certain way. Intention to harm must but be proven in order for someone to be found guilty. We’ve learned that intention is an incredibly hard thing to prove in a court of law. According to a recent poll on, Wyoming ranks 49 out of 50 states in terms of animal protection, but here’s the good news, if the PACT Act passes, it will be the first time in history that in Wyoming someone can be charged with animal cruelty. If the Wyoming courts toss it out due to state laws, one can still be persecuted federally.

Within the Animal Welfare world, we must celebrate the small victories. The PACT Act proves that there are people out there doing the hard-legislative work to protect animals within the law. In a day that our nation feels divided, an unanimously passed bipartisan animal cruelty law gives us a lot of hope for the future and is a significant victory for all living creatures.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

While October is a month that makes us giddy for doggie Halloween costumes and pumpkin spiced everything, it’s a month that brings awareness to a much darker topic. October was dubbed National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence back in 1981. For many, home is a safe place of warmth and love for the whole family, including our pets, but for millions of others home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women are victims of physical violence by a partner every year. According to the Huffington Post, there were 11,766 women who were murdered by their current or ex-male partners between the years of 2001-2012. To put this in perspective, during the same time, 6,488 U.S. Troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The trauma of domestic abuse deeply affects humans and pets. Pets’ basic needs can be neglected during violent cycles of abuse. Pets are used as leverage by an abuser to force compliance and often pets become targets of violence themselves. Typically, the abuser’s goal is to have control over their victim’s life, and they often find the leverage in a victim’s beloved pet. “Between 18% and 48% of battered women delay leaving a dangerous situation out of concern for their pets’ safety,” warns the Animal Welfare Institute and over 50% of women do end up leaving their pets behind with their batterers. Not having a safe haven for the victim, their children, and their pets is a huge road block in a victim’s decision to get out. Today, very few domestic violence shelters in the U.S. allow pets.

Locally, the Community Safety Network is a fully pet-friendly campus. PAWS and CSN’s partnership program, SafePAWS, has been helping local victims and their pets since 2008. The original idea came from former PAWS Board Member, Maria Hayashida, “a friend of mine sought refuge at my house for a month with her dog since, at the time, CSN didn’t allow animals onsite. I think her experience made me stand up and act to formalize my idea of providing foster care for people’s animals.” In the early days of SafePAWS, PAWS staff and community members fostered the pets of victims. PAWS E.D. Amy Moore states, “When we started SafePAWS we only offered pet fostering. Due to the nature of the program there was very little advance notice when a pet needed shelter, so the vast majority of the pets ended up in my home. At one point I had a giant African Grey Parrot cage in my kitchen. By the end of the parrot’s stay, he had a whole new vocabulary! That’s when we knew it was time to build the SafePAWS shelter.”

Our partnership has evolved from fostering to having two pet dedicated sanctuaries on CSN’s campus. Coney’s Cottage, a fully functional on-site pet cottage was erected in 2010 and an additional safe haven for cats was constructed in the winter of 2019. Both options give pet families a place to be safely sheltered and cared for by their families. Often victims seek refuge and comfort from their pets during these times of stress, and keeping them together as a family is the best option for all. Outside of actual sheltering PAWS offers supplies, wellness exams, and any medical aid they need. Since 2008, SafePAWS has protected over 70 pets from domestic violence. Over the last two years SafePAWS is averaging 10 pets per year who are in need of our services. With aid from SafePAWS, CSN is the only domestic violence shelter in Wyoming that shelters the entire family.


SafePAWS cat safe haven was completed in early 2019 with funding from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole and by the Bowen family.


Coney’s Cottage dedication in 2010. Former PAWS Board Member, Maria Hayashida, and current Executive Director, Amy Moore pictured.

As October comes to an end, awareness about domestic violence should not. Knowledge is power and knowing the current environment for victims is essential in order to help them. If you’d like to get involved locally please call the Community Safety Network to learn about volunteer opportunities and/or visit our website: to donate directly to the SafePAWS program.

New friendly faces and fun events!

We’ve added to our team! Meet David Watson our new Development Director, and two new board members—Michael Coles and Paul Mower.


Watson moved to Jackson in 1999 to fulfill a lifelong dream of living out West. Over the past 20 years he has become a successful fundraiser, leader, and permanent fixture in the nonprofit community. Watson spent 15 years at Teton Science Schools and more than four years at Teton Raptor Center. He said he is very excited to bring his fundraising skills to PAWS and to combine his love for animals, people, and the community into his new role. Watson continues to volunteer for Boy Scouts of America (he is now in his 14th year doing so). He also coordinates the Blair Community Garden and is an accomplished artist. David and his wife Rhonda have two sons, a daughter, and a son-in-law, who all live in Jackson.


Michael Coles is a transformational leader, accomplished entrepreneur, author, education advocate, and motivational speaker. He co-founded the Great American Cookie Company and was Chairman, CEO and President of Caribou Coffee Company. In addition to boasting an extensive background in the business world, Coles is actively engaged on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. He’s also passionate about pets and community.

Paul Mower’s caring for animals started at a young age dairy farming in the UK. He initially pursued a career in livestock husbandry with responsibility for quality assurance and animal welfare standards. A change of career path moved Mower into a role in private wealth management. Following time working at financial institutions in the Channel Island, Switzerland and New York, Mower eventually moved to Jackson Hole to set up and run a multi-family office. Paul, with his wife Amy, three children and dog Penny have called the valley home for the past three years.


We hope that you join us for our first-ever PAWSH party THIS SATURDAY from 6:30-11pm at Hatch Taqueria. Tickets are $25 per human (sorry, no pets) and include 2 specialty cocktails and a self-serve Taco Bar from 7-8pm. Tickets, silent auction, and pay to play booze bottle pull will benefit the PAWS organization.

(Click the ad below for more event info and a working list of the silent auction items.) 

Chances are, you’ve been touched by one of our programs in one way or another. Be it a spay and neuter voucher,  MedFund, or the thousands of MuttMitts that we distribute throughout the valley, we are constantly making an impact on local pets and their people. Help us continue our mission by attending this swanking soiree!

We’re celebrating 20 years!

On September 20th, 1999, a nonprofit animal welfare organization, called PAWS of Jackson Hole, was created. Founder Ann Smith, and a group of local Jacksonites, started a friend of the shelter organization that’s mission was to raise money to donate to the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter for the single purpose of spaying and neutering all of the shelter pets. At the time, the Animal Adoption Center and Lucky’s Place of Star Valley were not in operation yet, and the Teton Valley Humane Society in Driggs, Idaho (now Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter) was in the beginning years of operation. The J/TC Shelter was the only place on this side of Teton Pass for homeless animals. Ann became involved with a similar organization while spending time in Sedona, and saw the need in Jackson for a similar missioned organization. Back then, the town and county did not have a policy of altering animals at the shelter. Pets were adopted out unaltered, would reproduce, and the offspring would wind up at the shelter. It was an endless cycle and the shelter was perpetually overcrowded.

Ann Frame, PAWS Founder Ann Smith, Judy Eddy, and Kym Rupeiks at a Farmer’s Market in 2001.

2006 Home for the Holidays Adoption Drive.

Model’s lining up to walk the runway at 2008 Fur Ball’s Furry Fashion Show.

Dogs being dogs at Sophie’s Place in the winter of 2011.


Since 1999, PAWS of Jackson Hole has had significant impact on the Greater Jackson communities. We’ve grown from a grass roots group to a professionally managed organization serving as a community resource to prevent pet homelessness, to protect pets from harm and suffering, to promote responsible ownership. We now have 4 full-time staff members who help pets and their people for their entire lives through 8 programs. PAWS’ staple staff member, Executive Director, Amy Moore states, “When I joined PAWS in 2006, there were regularly 40-50 dogs at the shelter and 60-70 cats. It was overwhelming just trying to get every dog walked each week. Over the years, with the help of PAWS’ Spay/Neuter program, The Shelter Fund and volunteer engagement we’ve seen a dramatic increase in adoption rates and a huge decline in the homeless pet population. Today the norm at the shelter is to have just 6 adoptable dogs and 8 cats. It’s been so incredible to watch the evolution of this shelter over the years and to be able to say that PAWS of Jackson Hole played a part in its success.” PAWS is still the J/TC Animal Shelter’s largest supporter, but over the years PAWS has expanded outside of being just a “friends of shelter” organization to one that supports the community owned pets (and their people) as well.

In 2008 PAWS launched our free spay/neuter program to Jackson/Teton County residents and extended the program into Teton Valley, Idaho and Star Valley, Wyoming in 2011. This program has been a game changer for the shelter numbers and stray population in our areas. Before spay/neuter support was offered, our MedFund program (formally McDoc) was developed. Muffie Beck, an avid animal lover and philanthropist, sadly passed away. In 2002, Muffie’s husband, Hank, approached PAWS to provide funding for emergency or unexpected veterinary care for pets of families experiencing financial hardship. MedFund has aided over 1,100 families since its inception. MedFund was extended to our sister communities in 2019 to continue saving lives. Outside of these three pillar programs, the other 5 continue to thrive and expand. In the animal welfare world, the environment is constantly changing and growing. PAWS’ mission is aligned to be part of the positive changes for pets and their people in our communities.

We invite you to celebrate our 20th anniversary with us at our Chamber Celebration on Tuesday, September 24th on the Cutty’s lawn from 5-7pm.

Old Bill’s Fun Run, the nonprofit Super Bowl

Jackson Hole’s version of a nonprofit Super Bowl is quickly approaching! That’s right, Old Bill’s season is upon us. With thousands of attendees, this event boasts the highest participation level of any fundraiser in town!

While the Old Bill’s energy is something humans look forward to, the canine attendees may have a different outlook. If you’ve attended the event before, you know there are an abundance of sugar-fueled kids, food on every corner, loud noises, and lots of people all crammed into Town Square. This scene is not every dogs’ cat’s meow. Humans have the tools to remove ourselves from over stimulating and stressful situations. We have a voice and the ability to reason. Please be mindful of the environment you’re putting your pup in when you bring them along to OBFR. If your pup has a history of performing well in this type of environment and you bring them along, make sure they’re top priority when it comes to your focus and on leash at all times. It’s easy to get caught up in the Old Bill’s spirit and stop paying attention to your dog’s behavior. Know the signs of stress. If your dog is yawning a lot, licking his lips, and has a pin-straight or tucked tail, he is uncomfortable. One last question to ask yourself before attending the event with your dog is: “Am I bringing Fido for my enjoyment or for his?” It’s fun to bring your pup to public events but this is the ultimate event in terms of testing your dog, and he may be more comfortable at home.

We are so thankful for Old Bill’s Fun Run. Our eight programs heavily rely on donations made through Old Bill’s. Let’s take a look back on the last 12 months to see your dollars at work. Since last year’s OBFR we’ve issued over 1,150 spay/neuter vouchers. If half of those pets were females and produced one litter of 4, our community would have 2,300 more pets needing homes. PAWS has spent over $24,000 on emergency/unforeseen veterinary care, keeping those pets alive, healthy, and with their families. A new cat room was constructed at our SafePAWS facility for cats needing a safe haven from domestic violence. 208 hours of dog training was sponsored for the adoptable dogs at the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter. 150,000 mutt mitts were distributed and over 200-man hours were paid for to maintain our 23 mutt mitt stations. Our DART team has attended two training sessions ensuring they are ready to spring into action if a disaster occurs. Over 300 students participated in multiple Humane Education courses. Countless dogs enjoyed the Winter Dog Park for another season. Plus, we set up our outreach materials over 30 times promoting responsible pet ownership. Thank you for supporting us!

Meet Olive, the 702nd pet our spay/neuter voucher program has provided surgery for in 2019.


Spring 2019 Disaster Animal Response Team training.


New SAFEPAWS cat safe haven.


Humane Education participant Eli sharing a moment in class with PAWS staff dog Derby.


Kianah (pictured left) received MedFund to repair her knees as well as PAWS sponsored dog-training hours at our local shelter. She was adopted with her sister Kiska in June 2019. 

Want to help us continue our work? It’s our 20th Anniversary! We are asking every pet owner to donate $20 (or more) to keep these programs funded for another year!. See you in a few weeks!

To donate to PAWS via Old Bills:


It’s DOGUST, let’s pawty!

When dogs enter animal shelters, the staff has to guess their age by looking at their teeth, eye clarity, body composition, and coat color. Guessing their true birthday is just not possible.

Shelter dogs rejoice because TODAY is your birthday. The North Animal Shore League, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue organization, declared August 1st, known as DOGUST, as the universal birthday for all shelter dogs. Hooray and Happy Birthday to all dogs who are waiting for their forever home in an animal shelter- that’s a lot of candles on top of that pup cake! If you have extra time today stop by a shelter with treats and take a doggo for a birthday stroll (singing is optional).

Pet birthdays are a time where pet owners really let our freak flags fly. Bacon for breakfast, Big Mac’s at the top of their favorite hike, new plush toys and baskets full of tennis balls dumped on top of them for the ultimate Instagram worthy ball freak birthday experience. In a recent article, a poll showed that more than one in five humans have held or attended a birthday party for a pet, and 36 percent of pet birthday bashes cost between $20 to $49.

Ready to start planning your pet’s next birthday? We’ve compiled a list of 5 pet-perfect Birthday parties to help:

1) Start the day with a hike and swim and end it with French fries at the Fido-friendly decks of Streetfood or the Byrd.

2) Is your pet a total ham for the camera? Grab some festive props and set up a photo booth. Let their inner model glow! Make yearly albums highlighting their year for a keepsake.

3) Got a car-ride crazy canine? Turn up the tunes and take them on a drive. [We have photo shoot above]End the mini road trip with a puppucino from a local coffee shop or a birthday baked good from your favorite pet supply store.

4) Does your cat go bananas for laser pointers? Turn down the lights, sprinkle some catnip, break out your disco light, and let them rip. End their soiree with a feline-friendly birthday cake: Combine drained white albacore tuna, sweet potato puree, and a little rice flour in a bowl. Scoop into cookie cutters to create little, round cakes. If you want to get extra fancy, you can make “frosting” by piping mashed potatoes on the cakes. YUMMEOW!

5) Got a less active pet? Host a sleepover. Everyone put on their party pajamas on, make a big bed on the floor, pop some corn, cue the movie marathon, and let the snuggle fest begin! Serve pup-tails of low sodium chicken broth and peanut butter. Shaken not stirred.

Change their Future, become a Foster Parent.

Dubie, with his new family, recently adopted from the J/TC Shelter.

We are so happy to report that a recent dog we fostered, Dubie, is now happy in a home of his very own. When fostering the Dubes, we took him along to a couple of public events, bopped around town with him, he even went up Snow King! This little guy had stamina and was just so happy to be out and about, EVERYTHING was exciting to him.

While showing Dubie off around town in his sporty petite Adopt Me vest, people often stopped us to learn more about the little fella. Mid-way through our spiel, inquiring humans would chime in with, “I could never foster, I would feel so bad bringing him back.” Typically, we answer this question the same way, “we get to be the first part of a positive change for them,” or “fostering does such a service to these little guys,” but neither of these classic responses encompasses why we foster. Recently we saw a quote on Facebook that hit the nail right on the proverbial adoptable head.

Foster homes aid the adoption process by providing a plan of introduction into their new future homes, a “What to expect, when you’re adopting this dog,” if you will. Last winter we fostered a young gal from the J/TC Shelter who had been returned 3 times while out on adoption trials! We volunteered to take her home to see this Jekel and Hyde in action. One minute she was laying on the kitchen floor and then the next she was standing proudly on top of the fridge. Knowing ahead of time that she needed to be kept on leash in the house to teach appropriate house manners was an incredibly useful tool for her future home. Most people are not looking for a fridge surfing dog. We’re happy to report she has never summited a refrigerator in her new home.

Within Jackson, there are two organizations that have Foster Programs: the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter and the Animal Adoption Center. Each of these organizations will send you home with everything you need to make your doggie sleepover successful. To inquire about joining their foster programs, give them a call at 307-733-2139 (J/TC Shelter) or 307-739-1881 (AAC). Both offer foster to adopt opportunities as well if you are in the market for a new fur-clad family member.

Olivia Pollard reading to foster puppy while resident canine sister supervises. (Foster puppy is available through the Animal Adoption Center).

5 Self Indulgent Reasons to Foster:

1) Teach your kids what it takes to own and respect a pet.

2) It’s like speed dating for dogs- not ready for a full-time commitment? Fostering gives you the doggie-fix without the 24/7, 365-day commitment.

3) A fun night for your own pet. Can only own one pup, but have a social pupper-fly on your hands? Make their night and entertain a local adoptable for a sleepover.

4) It’s the perfect volunteer opportunity for the non-people person. If crowds, customer service, and manual labor are not for you, fostering dogs is a great way to give back to your community.

5) The heart explosion YOU feel when you see past foster dogs enjoying life with their new families. There is no better feeling, we promise you that!


Buddy, J/TC Animal Shelter, with foster brother ready to be fostered for the weekend.

AAC’s Frito, learning the ropes from foster sister, Ella.

Foster kitten at Aska’s Animals getting healthy and growing while learning valuable pig climbing skills.

National Adopt a Cat Month

Ah June, FINALLY! The sunshine is here and the temps are rising, summer is on the horizon! A fun fact about June: It’s National Adopt a Cat month! Allow us to convince you why cats are king…

The All-American Cat
This may be surprising, but out of the *183.9 million pets living in American households, 94.2 million of those pets are of the feline species. This number has jumped up 20.1 million since 2012. What can we say, CATS ARE TRENDING! You’ve heard the saying once you pop you can’t stop when it comes to Pringles potato chips, and the cat keepers of America feel the same way as the average number of cats per cat owning household is 2 (the average hound count per household is 1).

The Economical Itty-Bitty-Kitty-Committee
When it comes to dollars and cents, cats are more economical than dogs. The initial purchase or adoption prices for dogs far surpass cats. Adoption fees for cats typically range from $20-$150 depending on age including their spay/neuter, microchipping, and initial vaccines- a banging (not barking) bargain. Buying a dog from a breeder is still popular and prices range from $300 -$3,000 depending on breed. Buying a cat from a breeder is much less popular than adoption and prices average between $200-$1,200 depending on breed and color. On top of the initial cost, cats eat less, their food cost less, they need less in terms of boarding, grooming, and overall supplies. Cats tend to be smaller in size, therefore, their medical treatment and medication needs are less. In 2018 the average dog owner spent $1,386 on veterinary care per year, while cat owners averaged $890.

The Low Maintenance Meower
Dog guilt is a real thing. When you work long hours, have a social life, and recreate at the Park or Resort on the weekends, usually, Fido gets jipped. Simply put, dogs require a lot more time and maintenance than cats. Cats use litter boxes and tend to graze their way through their day rather than take down a bowl of chow in minutes. There are cats that are more social and do enjoy more hands-on play time, but they can manage being left without human intervention for longer time periods than pups.

The Stress Reducing Purrer
It’s hard to get on Facebook without your feed being flooded with feline antic videos. Cat owners experience many benefits to their mental health. The presence of a cat can reduce anxiety, loneliness, depression, or even frustration. The actual “purr” that your cat makes has a soothing effect on you, immediately making you feel more relaxed.

So, what are you waiting for? Be a part of the kitty revolution and go out and get yourself a feline friend. You won’t regret it! Whatever size, make, and model you want, our shelters have what you’re looking for! Currently, shows 212 available cats and kittens within 100 miles.

* APPA National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association.

Check out a few of our staff picks of available cats in our local shelters:

This is a large adult woman. Bathe in the curves of this beautiful lady. While she weighs less than she looks, Fern looks really big because she’s a Main Coon mix which is like wrapping a burrito in cotton candy. Fern is available for adoption from the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter, 307-733-2319.

Call Miss Cleo meow for your free feline psychic reading at 307-739-1881. Her operators at the Animal Adoption Center will help you get in touch with her.

Step 1: Watch this infamous commercial
Step 2: Go to the Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter in Driggs, Idaho and adopt Abigail.

He’s salty, crunchy, and addicting. Call Lucky’s Place of Star Valley at 307-887-PETS to ponder Pretzel.


The offseason, the perfect time to prepare.

May is typically a slow month in terms of natural disasters. But inevitably disasters and those affected will be in the news and on our minds in the near future. So, it is the perfect time to practice emergency plans, brainstorm and learn with other organizations, and prepare for the future.

At the beginning of the month Jess Farr, PAWS’ Program Director represented Teton County’s Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (V.O.A.D.) at the Mountain West VOAD Regional Conference in Boise, Idaho. The theme of the conference was , “Together We Serve.” A conference highlight session titled, “How to prepare for everything,” presented by Crisis Clean Up, concluded that everyone’s interpretation of disaster is different, as well as one’s needs before, during, and after are diverse; therefore, how we prepare within our family unit should be unique. You can follow a general checklist to start, but that’s what a generalized checklist should be, just a start. Next year Jackson has been chosen as the conference’s location and all residents and organizations are invited to attend. For more info on 2020’s Mountain West VOAD Conference:

PAWS of Jackson Hole falls within Teton County’s Emergency Management Incident Command System to provide Emergency Sheltering for the pets of Teton County, WY and Teton County, ID. On May 11th, some of our volunteer team members got together for a full- size live exercise of shelter set up, pet intake, daily operation, and breakdown. A few cooperative community members volunteered as actresses bringing in pets, donations, and volunteer inquiries to test our Shelter Team. Live canine and feline actors were present as shelter clients. The feline actors were the least cooperative of the bunch, as you could imagine. Rich Ochs of Teton County Emergency Management observed our process and facilitated a debriefing of how our operation can (and will) improve. After a 90-minute-long session of suggestions, improvements, brainstorming and pizza eating, Rich asked our team a question, “Do you feel more prepared to set up an Emergency Shelter after this exercise?” A unanimous “YES,” chimed from all attending team members.

In order to best serve our community’s pets and people, we ask that you have an up to date copy of vaccination records for your pet on hand to bring with you when your pet needs emergency sheltering. These records will aid our team in providing the best care for your pet. Our DART team also asks that pets arrive at the Emergency Shelter on leash/ in cat carrier in order to ensure the safety of the pets, the public, and our volunteer team members. We will be updating our website soon to include a general checklist (remember what general checklists are for) to help you start planning for what your pet needs to use our Emergency Shelter if the DART team is called upon.


It’s Dog Bite Prevention Week

Do you feel like there’s always some sort of national awareness day or week? If only National Margarita Appreciation Week was every week. This week April 7th – April 14th is a week that highlights a topic a bit more serious than margaritas, National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Over 4.5 million people, about half of which are children, are bit by dogs every year, with the states of Texas and California leading in those numbers of incidents. The good news is this number has gone down a bit year to year and the majority of these bites are preventable.

When out at the Cowboy on a rowdy Saturday night you may tell two different people to “Talk to the hand,” and get two very different reactions… this concept holds true with dogs. One particular dog may not mind you hovering over them telling them how they are the bestest boy in the whole wide world, but this action may scare and provoke another dog to fear bite.

It’s good to get kids started at a young age of respecting a dog’s space, body, and boundaries. Teach your kids to never approach a dog while its eating or a mom with puppies. Moms with puppies will act like any other mama lion with her cubs, protective. Kids should learn how to appropriately approach dogs and pet dogs – never pulling, poking, or using them as a coffee table.

We’ve all spent an evening or two falling into the abyss of cute online videos of dogs and babies, and while there are dogs who don’t mind being used as furniture, its always good to move slowly and know the signs that a dog is uncomfortable, and never allow kids to behave this way with an unknown dog. If the dog’s body is stiff, eyes are wide, they curl their lips or pant or yawn, and tails are curled or straight as an arrow, immediately stop and give them lots of space. Allow them to come to you and position themselves where they want to be. Most of the time if a dog snaps it’s because of an invasion of space and their bodies. How do you feel when someone is standing on your foot at a concert and doesn’t get the hint? If a dog growls, don’t reprimand or correct them, its basically their way of saying, “Step off, I’m not ok with what’s going on.” Always have kids ask for permission to approach a dog out in public and have them act like a tree (standing still with hands at their side) if a dog approaches them without supervision. Have kids approach dogs from the side and offer their flat hand for the dog to sniff. Once the dog has made contact with them, they can give the dog some light and slow-moving pets.

As adults we need the reminder that what we may find as a fun and social event, our dog may not think the same. Often bites occur at events like outdoor concerts and farmer’s markets. Food + zooming kids + loud music + other dogs + distracted dog owners is the perfect recipe for even the gentlest of dogs to snap a bite. Add fireworks to the mix and not only will you have a terrified dog, you may loose hold of them as well, and now have a missing and distressed dog that you need to find. Aside from stressful social events some dogs bite out of the blue due to medical reasons. Keep up on your dog’s check-ups, if a new area on their body is hurting them and someone touches it, they may bite protecting their new injury. Older dog’s who have hip problems will protect that sore part of their body from people and other approaching dogs. Think about it, when you have the flu, you may bite (with your words) those around you because they’re causing you more pain and annoyance… the same holds true for our canines.

To help dogs figure out the world and minimize the chances of biting, socialize them early using the proper techniques. Get them used to being held by new people, have them smell new smells, experience new noises, and introduce them to other dogs (once vaccinated) slowly that you know are good with pups. Never use fear or violence to reprimand them. If your toddler has a tantrum, removing them from the situation immediately is a common human mechanism for “training.” This exact removing from the fun or stressful environment works on pups too. You can’t handle the fun in an appropriate manner? The fun is taken away.

Not all dogs thrive at a dog park. If your dog cowers, curls their tail under, or is tiny and continuously gets trampled on, its time to leave the Dog Park, its not for them. This is a two-way street; some dogs can be the bullies. If your dog is constantly tackling dogs, humping the same dog, and biting at the faces of other dogs, you may have a “bully” on your hands. Again, take the fun away, and don’t bring a pup who is prone to this behavior to a dog park, have them play in smaller groups in a more controlled environment instead. To learn more about how to assist your canine kid to grow out of this behavior a local trainer is always someone that can bring some professional advice to learning the body language that is exhibited before an incident, and how to help them learn a different behavior.

If you’d like to learn more about Dog Bite Prevention there are some great free online webinars happening this week.

To learn more:

Exploring our Cat’s Comprehension

Ever wake up in the middle of the night to your cat performing a version of Cirque de Soleil, usually directly above your head? Or maybe the opposite, you awake to your cat sitting on your chest, staring intently into your snoozing face, deep in kitty thoughts (of revenge). What in the H E double hockey sticks are these cats thinking? Let’s delve into cat comprehension.

Did curiosity actually kill the cat?

According to Webster, intelligence is the ability to acquire information, retain it, and utilize it to solve problems. Like humans, cats research their surroundings. Put a cat in a new place and every nook, cranny, and water glass will be studied. Science has shown that not only does a cat investigate new territory, cats have the ability to retain this knowledge. They retain information and often life-saving environmental details so curiosity didn’t kill the cat, it gave them the notoriety of having nine lives.

The Midnight Marauder

Best day – you bring a cat home. Second-best day – you’ve gotten an uninterrupted night’s sleep with the cat in the house. Cats are nocturnal by nature and these lions of our living room still have those instincts deeply engrained in their primal brains. The spurt of wild energy that many cats get in the middle of the night, dubbed “midnight crazies,” or as we call it at my house “the kitty rave,” is their primal brains telling them that IT’S GO TIME. They often hunt their toys, or other objects, and rubber hair bands are often high on the list of household prey. Thankfully there are ways to curb this behavior. Tired dog = happy, well-rested, human, and the same concept can hold true getting your cat to chill out at night. Interactive toys, feather wands, hide and seek with treats are all great ways to get your cat’s brain and body tired. If you answer their meows and zooms by giving them food to get them to leave you alone, their hunting game is working, with rewards! To repeat this behavior night after night… who’s a smart kitty?

I snooze, the cat stares

Cats think three dimensionally, but they think in different dimensions than we do! When cats hear a noise, they can precisely locate it, while we can locate the direction the noise is coming from. Cat brains are wired to pick up on wavelengths and patterns that prey or humans generate. When you wake up with your cat sitting on your chest staring, the cat is “mapping” its territory. Its intent stare while listening to your sounds and breathing patterns, give the cat a heightened sense of other changes in its environment (your bedroom). They’re not actually plotting revenge against you for not allowing them to lick your ice cream bowl. They’re keeping watch over you and themselves in case of a drastic and scary change in your environment.

The Nip Head
We’ve all seen it… drooling, rolling around meowing to the beat of reggae music (wait what music?), widened pupils as if the colors your cat is seeing are just. so. colorful. That tell-all tail twitch and erratic zoomie behavior. Your cat SMELLED catnip! When catnip enters a cat’s body through its nostrils, cats exude behaviors common to females in heat. These effects last for about 10 minutes and the guilty Nip Head is temporarily immune to catnip’s effects for the next 30 minutes. Pulled from The Cat Guide’s 2017 online article, “Cats and Catnip,” by Sean Green, “When a cat smells catnip, Nepetalactone, one of catnip’s volatile oils, enters the cat’s nasal tissue, where it is believed to bind to protein receptors that stimulate sensory neurons. Then, these cells will provoke a reaction in neurons in the cat’s olfactory bulb, which project to the amygdala and other regions of the brain. These cells also stimulate response from the brain’s hypothalamus, which helps in regulating feelings such as emotions and hunger. The amygdala then combines the flow of information from the olfactory bulb cells and sends it to the brain regions governing the cat’s behavior responses. On the other hand, the hypothalamus regulates neuroendocrine responses of the cat’s brain and body via the pituitary gland – thus creating what it seems to be a “sexual response” in cats.” In laymen’s term’s or as your cat thinks the “lame human’s terms,” your cat is blissfully turned on! If your cat decides to nibble on the nip instead of smelling it, you’ll get more of a Bob Marley effect. Eating catnip puts your cat in a more mellow irie state (mon).

Thanks for traveling the cat’s brain with us. We’re all safe for now, knowing that they’re not plotting against us every night… Or are they?!


Inside the Canine Cranium

Here at the PAWS office, we have dogs on the brain. In order for humans to excel at being dog parents we need to understand how our dog’s brains operate. Let’s explore the canine cranium!

First question, do dogs think? Dr. Jill Sackman, a clinician in behavioral medicine and senior medical director of BluePearl Veterinary Partners’ Michigan hospitals says, “Absolutely.” Dog cognition is similar to a three-year-old human, so there is some accuracy to the infamous bumper sticker, my dog is smarter than your honor student, as long as that honor student is in preschool.

Got a pup that likes to give you the cold shoulder? Do you ever wonder, does my dog even like me? Animal Cognition scientists at Emory University trained dogs to be still in an MRI machine and they measured a dog’s neural responses to different types of smells. Dogs navigate through their noses and the way they process smell offers insight into behavior. First of all, who’s a good boy!? Many of our dogs won’t stay still for more than a minute. Secondly, what did they find out? The scientists discovered that a dog owner’s scent actually sparked the most activation in the “reward center” of dog brains. Of all the smells to take in, dogs prioritized the smell of their humans over anything or anyone else. Fido prefers L’eau de YOU the most!

A Mutt’s Memory Lane
Fact, dogs do remember. Dogs who have gone through obedience training know and remember commands and hand signals. Dogs remember friend’s houses and routines. Do you always give your dog a treat after a walk? You’ll see that when you return home they’ll sit and wait for what comes next. But do dogs store memories in their brain like humans do? The short answer is no. Dogs have an associative memory which means dogs remember people, places, and experiences based on associations they have with them. They remember that you putting on shoes means WALK! But they won’t remember what the weather was like last time they walked. Have a pup that gets uneasy and scared in the waiting room at the vet? If they’ve had a negative experience, they won’t be able to remember what scared them, but they will associate the waiting room with fear.
Ever notice that your dog’s reaction to seeing you after being gone for an hour is similar to when you’ve been gone for a week? Dogs do remember people. But research shows that they don’t remember the last time they saw a particular person – they forget events within two minutes.

The Emotional Hound
Dogs are sensitive creatures, some more than others, just like people. A 2017 article in Psychology Today, says there is solid evidence from brain imaging studies that shows areas of dogs’ brains light up when they feel emotions that parallel those of humans. This means your pup feels similarly to how you feel when experiencing different emotions. While dogs have the same hormones and undergo the same chemical changes as humans when experiencing emotions, their range of emotions is different than ours. Because researchers have decided that a dog’s mind is roughly equivalent to that of a 3-year-old human, this decision holds true for mental abilities, including emotion. Like a toddler, dogs will have fewer kinds of emotions than an adult human. This chart shows a dog’s emotional range based on the human age emotions appear:


You may think that your dog is exhibiting shame when you put him in a silly costume, but actually its disgust. Sorry Pooch!


We hope you learned a little something about our tail wagger’s inner workings! We’ll be back in touch with a breakdown of the feline intellect soon.

Does your Valentine make your tail wag?

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you better believe that we think pets make the best Valentines! Did you know that nearly 9 million Americans buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their dogs?

Skip Cupid’s lovey dovey corny mumbo kibble this Valentine’s Day and join PAWS at the Snake River Brew Pub for Trivia Night! This year, American’s are estimated to spend 751 million dollars on Valentine’s gifts for their pets! How about treating yourself to some Valentine’s hoppy happiness in lieu of, or along with (who are we kidding) a gift to your pet. For every pint you drink, SRB donates a buck back to your fur-clad Valentine’s favorite local nonprofit.

Be sure to try their main-stay dog inspired beer, Pako’s IPA. Pako was a beloved canine of an SRB’s long time mug clubber. Brewers brewed an IPA because Pako had two different colored eyes, and officially called the beer Pako’s EYE-P-A.

We hope to see you there!

Hello Spay and Neuter Awareness Month!

While most folks think of Cupid and chocolates during the month of February, we in the animal welfare biz like to highlight that February is NATIONAL SPAY/NEUTER MONTH! Did you know that cats are 45 times as prolific, and dogs 15 times as prolific, as humans?

Why is the month of February given this honor? Typically, spring and summer are dubbed “kitten/puppy season,” with rampant overproduction of puppies and kittens during this time. February is the perfect month to remind people to spay/neuter their pets before an unplanned pregnancy occurs. While the number of accidental canine pregnancies has dropped in our little bubble of Jackson, they often occur in our neighboring communities. Unwanted pregnancies bring free puppy giveaways, which sometimes leads to puppies that wind up with humans who have bad intentions or who will not care for them. As for cats, leaving a cat unaltered produces many, many kittens. An unspayed female cat can have 3 litters of 4-6 kittens each within one year, and can get pregnant as early as 4 months in age. An apocalypse could happen and cats would still find a way to reproduce!There are many other positive reasons to spay/neuter your pets beyond preventing reproduction. Our pets, although domesticated and usually spoiled, are still animals at their core and their natural instincts send them looking for a mate, when left intact. 80% of dogs that are hit by cars are wandering, intact males and 90% of the millions of cats that are killed on our roads each year are unaltered. Unaltered dogs also face a list of serious health problems that altered dogs do not face, such as mammary tumors, uterine cancer, testicular cancer, and prostate disease.

The development of low-cost and free spay/neuter programs (like we have at PAWS!) has significantly reduced the number of pets entering shelters or being euthanized in shelters each year. Television, advertising, and social media has increased our awareness of the importance and impact of spay/neuter. Who remembers Bob Barker at the end of the Price is Right? “Bob Barker here reminding you, help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered.” While a number of states have proposed mandatory spay/neuter laws, there are currently no state laws requiring all pet owners to sterilize their animals. Some cities, such as Los Angeles, Dallas, and Las Vegas, have implemented spay/neuter ordinances within their localities with some exceptions. To learn more about spay/neuter laws:

In 2018 PAWS of Jackson Hole issued over 1,300 spay/neuter surgery vouchers in Jackson, Star Valley, and Teton Valley. In the future, we hope to see a decline in our voucher numbers, which will mean that people are adopting shelter animals that are already spayed/neutered and that people aren’t breeding their own pets. Pets do not need our help to expand their numbers; they need our help to reduce their numbers until there are good homes for them all. Happy February you PAWesome people, and remember its hip to snip!

Want to meet a few of our recent spay/neuter voucher recipients?

A Trap, Neuter, Return feral colony in Swan Valley, Idaho.
A few fluff muppets who were rescued from the dump in Riverton. Luckily for them a Jackson/Teton Valley hero human opened up her home to them to adopt out, after getting them spayed and neutered.
Tank, Aspen, and Clover of Star Valley, WY

Upcoming Events

We’ve got options for whatever you’re in the mood for THIS upcoming Saturday, February 2nd.

If you’re feeling active and want to hit the trails with your canine sidekick(s), we will be participating in this year’s Jackson Hole Winter Trails Day. Look for the PAWS tent at the Cache Creek Trailhead from 12 – 3pm. Eva of Star Dog Training will be hanging with us to offer up some free dog training tips! Check out the full line up of this Saturday’s Winter Trails Day activities:

If you’re feeling spicy (and hungry) our partners across the hill are hosting their 8th annual Winter Chili Cookoff. The event is being held at the Wildwood Room in Victor, Idaho from 5 to 8pm, all proceeds benefit the Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter’s adoptable pets. If you’re feeling extra creative and a little competitive you can enter your trademark chili to the cookoff to be sampled and voted on by all of the attendees.
Contact Heather if you’d like to submit your chili: More info on the event via the Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter’s Facebook page:

2018 Year in Review

Did you know that you can become a member of PAWS of Jackson Hole by donating just $10 monthly? Save your liver from one martini a month and put that money to work helping local pets and their people. Check out a few highlighted ways your membership gift would impact our local pets:

In 2018, PAWS provided over 1,100 spay/neuter surgery vouchers in Jackson, Teton Valley, and Star Valley. On top of that number PAWS has increased their efforts with Trap Neuter Return in the Teton Valley area and has successfully TNR’ed over 100 cats in 2018 with the help of our TNR volunteer team and some stellar feral cat advocates. Check out some of our 2018 Spay/Neuter and TNR recipients who, thanks to your support, will not be contributing to the pet overpopulation problem in our communities.

Meet Humphrey! This little guy is around 4 months and was originally abandoned along the side of a busy highway. Luckily he was found by someone who could give him the love he deserved. Humphrey was the 404th voucher we issued in Star Valley in 2018.

Twinkie, an 8 1/2 year old Min Pin, was used for breeding most of her life. Luckily for Twinkie her new mom, Bridgette, has put a stop to all of that nonsense and is giving Twinkie a new (spayed) life. Since her rescue 6 weeks ago Twinkie has lost a very needed 3lbs and is pleased with the fact that she is no longer a puppy making machine.
A TNR’ed kitten that ended up being tame enough to be adopted out through the Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter. All TNR’ed cats are accessed by a vet and some end up turning in their wild ways of life to become loving pets.

Did you attend our Tuxes and Tails Gala this past June? If so then you are well versed on our friend Bullet’s story and how badly he needed a chance at life. PAWS Medfund has helped over 70 people get their pets the medical treatment and care they desperately needed in 2018. Your membership gift directly impacts future animals just like Bullet.

To view Bullet’s story:

Bullet enjoying an afternoon snooze on a backpacking trip this summer with his rescuers, Will and Aska.

The ever so popular Mutt Mitts are still incredibly poop-ular! PAWS replaced the trashcans this year and added a couple to the managed stations roster. Our Mutt Mitt Maintenance Team services 23 stations weekly, 52 weeks a year! With the help of your membership gift PAWS distributes 150,000 FREE mutt mitts a year and pulls over 51,000 pounds of poop off our local trails!


PAWS’ Education and Outreach program has expanded in 2018. PAWS has introduced their own team of PAWS Trail Ambassadors. The Trail Ambassadors’ mission is to spread the “paws-itivity” and promote harmonious trail usage between bikers, hikers, skiers, and dog walkers. While out walking and surveying the trails, Ambassadors are ready to reward responsible pet owner behavior… and tend to reward the dogs too of course! Look for them out on the trails this summer and winter, easily spotted by their bright orange PAWS fanny packs, chock full of goodies thanks to Persephone Bakery, Snake River Brew Pub, Mars INC, Pet Place Plus, and Teton Tails!

This past fall PAWS partnered up with Rendezvous Elementary School in Driggs to introduce Humane Education to their students. PAWS and the School’s Counselor developed and presented a 4-week course of Pet and People Compassion Education for three hundred students. Pet topics such as how to meet an animal, spay and neuter, pet overpopulation and animal shelters, pet needs and safety, and breed discrimination were covered. All of these topics accompanied human compassion lessons and together they promote empathy, kindness, and responsibility for both humans and pets. PAWS plans to extend the Pet and People Compassion Education model throughout our communities in 2019.

And finally, thanks to DART (Disaster Animal Response Team) training, PAWS now has more than 40 certified volunteers ready to help if disaster strikes in both Teton County, WY and Teton County, Idaho. The DART team and countless other PAWS volunteers make all NINE PAWS programs possible. So farewell 2018, and thank you, supporters and volunteers. You are all an integral piece of the organization.

2018 Teton Valley DART Training
This group of feline enthusiasts got together to make outdoor cat houses for TNR recipients.