The Pet Assistance Welfare Society, also known as PAWS, is on a mission to reduce and aid the stray animal population in northeast Louisiana.

PAWS was founded in May of 2003 as a nonprofit organization that operates solely by volunteers. The organization has several different programs including an Animal Shelter Rescue, Humane Education, Tag Your Pet Program, Pet Therapy Program as well as a Spay/Neuter Assistance Program.

According to information provided by the Northeast Louisiana PAWS' website, it's estimated that around 98,000 pets are put to death every year in Louisiana and nearly 6,000 of them are euthanized at the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter.

“We are at an absolute ground zero when it comes to animal safety,” PAWS volunteer Jeni Slavant said. “My dream is to move it to the 21st century.”

By having pets spayed or neutered, the pet population can stay maintained so that fewer pets are in need of care and those pets have a better chance of finding a loving home where their care takes more precedence. The Spay/Neuter Assistance Program aids this effort by assisting low-income pet owners, with priority for those who are most in need.

For more information on the program or to get an application, visit

There are also several volunteer opportunities with PAWS including helping at offsite adoptions on the last Saturday of every month, helping with events, becoming a foster parent for an animal, helping transport a dog to its new home, becoming a pet therapy team or spreading the word about PAWS and its programs.

To receive emails about events and volunteer opportunities, email to be put on the mailing list.