What is PAWS all about?

Powell Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), all volunteer, foster home based dog rescue dedicated to saving homeless dogs from neglect, mistreatment, and/or unnecessary euthanasia. We are committed to securing permanent, nurturing, adoptive homes within central Ohio for the dogs we rescue, reducing overpopulation, and providing education about dog safety, preventive veterinary care, and behavior issues. Ultimately, our mission is to alleviate the needless suffering and euthanasia of adoptable canine companions — one dog, one adoption at a time.

How do I contact PAWS?

Voicemail: 614.354.5480

US Mail:
P.O. Box 211
Powell, OH  43065

For general inquiries or adoption inquiries:
Email: contactus@powellpaws.org

To inquire about surrendering a dog to PAWS:
Email: pawsintake@gmail.com


How old do I have to be to adopt a PAWS dog?

You need to be 21 years old to adopt a PAWS dog.

Can I adopt a PAWS dog if I live outside of central Ohio?

Unless there are extremely unusual circumstances, we only adopt dogs to people residing within central Ohio.

Do I need to have a fenced yard?

Nope! But if you don’t have a securely fenced yard, your dog should always be on a leash when outdoors in any area that isn’t secure (unless you’ve made the investment in advanced training to have complete control of your dog off leash, including a flawless recall!).

How much does it cost to adopt a PAWS dog?

Our adoption fee is $250. This helps to offset veterinary expenses. Before adoption, every PAWS dog receives a veterinary exam, is spayed or neutered, microchipped, licensed, vaccinated according to our veterinarian’s recommendations, tested (and if necessary, treated) for heartworm and fecal parasites, and on monthly heartworm and seasonal flea & tick preventatives. The average cost of these services is over $450, so we depend on fundraising to keep our adoption fees low. The adoption fee is collected at the time of adoption via cash, check, or PayPal.

What’s involved in the adoption process?

We invest a lot of time in the adoption process in an attempt to do all we can to find a great match between a dog and its adoptive family. When you identify a dog you’re interested in (on our website, Facebook, or at an adoption event), we ask that you fill out our non-binding Adoption Application. We’ll call your veterinarian to ensure that your current or previous pets have been well cared for. If you rent, we’ll check with your landlord to confirm that dogs are permitted and that the dog you’re interested in conforms to any size or breed restrictions that may exist.

Once your application is reviewed and approved, the dog’s foster parent will contact you. If you haven’t yet met the dog at one of our adoption events, the foster will arrange a meet & greet. Should you decide you want to pursue an adoption, we’ll set up a visit at your home so you can spend more time with the dog and have it meet all the humans and other animals it may be living with. We’ll also keep an eye out for anything in the environment that may need to be modified to ensure the dog’s safety (gaps in fences, accessible items that dogs are prone to be attracted to that could be dangerous, etc.). This is also an opportunity for the foster to provide you more detail about what they’ve learned about the dog and to answer any of your questions.

If everyone agrees that it’s a great match, we’ll ask that you take at least a night to sleep on it before making a final decision, and fully consider the lifelong commitment you’ll be making to the dog as it’s trusted guardian. If you decide you want to make this commitment, the foster will schedule a mutually convenient time to complete the adoption. We suggest scheduling the adoption at such a time when there can be someone home with the dog continuously for the first 72 hours (if it’s impossible to take a day off work before or after a weekend, it will usually suffice to schedule the adoption on a Friday after work). This time is spent bonding with and teaching your dog the rules of their new environment, and showing that you always come back after leaving before you leave for a full day.

If I am the first one to apply for a PAWS dog, will I get him?

Maybe. Our priority is to do the best we can to ensure a specific dog matches up well to its adopter and their environment. If there are multiple approved adopters interested in a specific dog within a short time frame, we consider all applications. If the dog is placed with someone else, it by no means implies that we felt you wouldn’t have provided a great home for the dog, but that there was reason to believe that the dog’s characteristics and needs were better matched to another that wanted the pup just as much. If the dog does go to someone else, we will work to find you another dog that you will be just as delighted to share your life with, and you won’t need to resubmit an application.

Can you tell me the age and breed (or breed mix) of the dog I’d like to adopt?

We make an educated guess based on physical characteristics, our experience, and input from veterinarians, but we can never be certain about a dog’s age or specific breed (or breed mix). A precise age is only known if a pup is born while its mother is in our care. We still can’t be certain of the pup’s breed because we can only make a best guess at the mother’s breed, and almost never know who the father was (puppies from the same litter may even have different dads!). Some people choose to do a DNA test after adoption and are often surprised by the results – a dog’s physical appearance and characteristics (phenotype) oftentimes don’t match their genetics (genotype).

If I adopt a puppy, can you tell what size it will grow up to be?

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you with any certainty. Even if we know the pup’s mom, we almost never know the dad, or how the combination of their genes will be expressed in a particular pup. We will offer a best guess based on paw size and a veterinarian’s input, but we can never be certain.

Does the dog I adopt from PAWS have to be spayed or neutered?

Definitely! Unintended pregnancies are the reason rescue organizations like us have to exist. All PAWS dogs are spayed or neutered before they can be adopted. We also require that all other companion animals in an adopter’s home be spayed/neutered unless there are special circumstances (e.g., you are a highly reputable licensed breeder that specializes in breeding service dogs for the disabled or working dogs for law enforcement).

What if I need help with my dog that I adopted through PAWS?

If your dog is displaying unwanted behaviors that you don’t know how to address, please contact us – the sooner the better! It’s important to intervene as soon as it’s apparent that the methods being used to address the unwanted behavior are not effective. What starts out as a mild behavior issue will often progress over time as the dog repeats it.

One of the advantages of adopting a dog from PAWS is that our dogs live in foster homes prior to being adopted. This gives us an opportunity to identify any behavior issues that may be of concern to potential adopters. It’s in everyone’s (the dog’s, yours, and ours) best interest for us to be completely transparent about anything we observe that may be an issue for an adopter and that may require working with a trainer or behaviorist to resolve and/or to learn how to effectively to manage.

Please know that transitions to new environments can be stressful for some dogs and can bring out unwanted behaviors. For example, house-training accidents are not uncommon during the first 3 – 4 weeks in a new environment, even if the dog was fully house trained in its foster home. To help you with potential issues that can occur during this transition period, we provide information in our Adoption Packet on ways to prevent or address common issues.

Sometimes, an unwanted behavior may only show up under certain conditions (e.g., in environments that are more active than what the dog is used to, or when a dog isn’t getting sufficient exercise and mental stimulation). Some of our volunteers have learned how to address many of the common unwanted behaviors and may be able to share their knowledge and experience. If necessary, we will refer you to several local, highly reputable behaviorists and/or trainers that can assist you in fixing and/or effectively managing unwanted behaviors using force-free methods. You can find our recommended trainers at the tab at the top of this page. It’s amazing how easily some issues can be fixed by learning to accurately read a dog’s body language and learning to communicate in a manner a dog can easily comprehend!

What do I do if I cannot keep my dog that I adopted from PAWS?

As with most rescue organizations, we require that you contact PAWS before giving away, transferring ownership, or otherwise surrendering your dog. We know our adopters will make every reasonable effort to resolve any issue that would prevent them from keeping their commitment to be their dog’s trusted owner for life. Should an unresolvable personal issue arise, or should your dog develop an extreme behavior that could not be resolved after working with a behavior professional we recommended, we will do everything we can to assist you in doing what’s best for your dog.


Why foster a dog with PAWS?

Fosters are PAWS’ most valuable resource – we can only save as many dogs as we have foster homes. We purposely don’t maintain a kennel or boarding facility, as most dogs become overly stressed in these environments after a week or two. The more dedicated fosters we have, the more dogs we can save!

What’s involved in fostering a dog with PAWS?

Foster parents work with our Intake Director to select their PAWS foster dog from available shelter dogs or those being surrendered by an owner. They care for their foster dog as they would their own, providing a safe and comfortable environment, and the support, attention, socialization, exercise, structure, and affection these dogs desperately need. The dog stays with the foster until we are able to match the dog with an adopter who is committed to providing a permanent, nurturing home.

PAWS provides fosters with all they need to care for their dog, including a collar, leash, food, treats, chew toys, crate, food & water bowls, ID, license, and comprehensive veterinary care (complete physical examination, spay/neuter, vaccinations, tests for heartworm and intestinal parasites, microchip, monthly heartworm and flea & tick preventatives, and diagnostics and treatment of any existing health conditions). If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a foster, please submit a Volunteer & Foster Application.

How old do I have to be to foster a PAWS dog?

You need to be 21 years old to foster dogs through PAWS.

What kind of orientation or training will I receive when I become a foster?

You will receive in-home orientation, and a comprehensive foster packet. You will also have access to our Foster Director to help guide you through the process.

What if I have to go out of town when I have a PAWS Foster?

No problem! Let us know of your plans as early as possible, and we will find a temporary foster or arrange for boarding.

What if I can’t foster full time?

We often need help on a temporary basis or in case of an emergency. When fosters need to go out of town, we’d much rather have their foster dog stay in a cozy home instead of being boarded in a kennel.

What if I want to adopt my PAWS Foster?

We always start fosters out with the 3 Dog Rule – you can’t adopt your first 3 foster dogs! We understand the easy ability to fall in love with a dog under your care. By placing this constraint on our fosters, we’ve found it helps you to understand the adoption process. The adoptions may not get easier for you, but we want you to get used to the idea of your foster dogs being adopted out into loving families – so that you can help save another life!


What if I’m not able to foster but want to help in some other way?

You can do that! Here are a few ways you might help.

  • Transport foster dogs to veterinary appointments and adoption events, serving as their handler
  • Organize a neighborhood dog wash
  • Organize and/or help facilitate adoption events
  • Assist with home visits
  • Assist with fundraising events
  • Solicit sponsorship, publicity, or donations for silent auctions and raffles from local businesses
  • Make crafts, jewelry, dog toys, or dog treats to sell at PAWS fundraisers and adoption events
  • Write or submit content for the PAWS website

To get started, please submit a Volunteer Application.

Assistance with a dog

I found a stray dog. Can you help?

State law requires that all stray dogs be taken to a county animal shelter so they can make further attempts to locate the dog’s owner. The dog will need to be held at the shelter (or possibly in your home or another foster home) for a holding period while there is an attempt to find the Owner. We also suggest taking pictures and submitting to PetFBI.org

I need help with or need to find a new home for a dog that I didn’t adopt from PAWS. Can you help?

Though we’d love to help every dog in need, we have limited resources and are dependent on the generous contributions of our volunteers. If we have available resources, we will do our best to assist you in finding a solution. We would first want to meet you and your dog to see if there’s anything we might do to help you to keep your dog. If surrendering your dog is the only option, and we believe your dog is a good candidate for re-homing, we may be able to offer to “courtesy post” your dog on Petfinder. You would continue to serve as your dog’s owner until you find a new home that will take great care of your dog.

What information do you need to help me re-home my dog?

If we’re able to assist you by courtesy posting your dog on Petfinder, we’ll need you to provide the following information:

  • Several pictures of your dog
  • Dog’s name, breed, gender, age, and weight
  • Medical history (copies of vet records are very helpful), including whether your dog:
    • Has been spayed or neutered
    • Is up to date on Rabies, Distemper, and Bordetella vaccinations
    • Has tested negative for heartworm disease in the past 12 months
    • Is on monthly heartworm and flea & tick preventatives
  • Description of your dog’s temperament – any issues with:
    • Strangers
    • Children
    • Cats
    • Other dogs
  • Any behavioral or medical issues a new guardian should be aware of

Please send this information to pawsintake@gmail.com

Donations and Fundraising

  • Donate items in good condition that your dog no longer uses (crates, leashes, toys).
  • Enroll your Kroger Plus Card in the Kroger Community Rewards Program at krogercommunityrewards.com and select PAWS (Powell), # 80559 as your beneficiary.
  • Use goodsearch.com to search the Internet, and goodshop.com when shopping online, and gooddining.com when eating at many popular local restaurants – just specify PAWS as your beneficiary – there’s no cost to you!