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Who We Are

Creston Pet Adoption and Welfare Society (PAWS) is a registered charity established in 1996. We are a volunteer-based organization committed to finding safe, loving, forever homes for abused, abandoned, stray, and unwanted animals in RDCK Districts A, B, and C.  

PAWS philosophy as a no-kill shelter means that PAWS pets that don’t find their fur-ever homes live out their lives, loved and cared for at the shelter or fostered by volunteers.  

Our one paid employee is our on-site caretaker, whose wages are offset by the rental of our Caretaker Cottage. We are not affiliated with or funded by the BC SPCA, or any municipal or provincial branch of government. Our funding comes strictly from donations, fundraising, and grants.  

How PAWS Came to Be  

In 1996/97 a mountain man was injured, leaving him unable to care for his several dogs. Coming together to capture and care for these dogs were Claudia and Bob Grimstead, Thelma Corner, and Bruno and Marion Schultz. Claudia, Bob, and Thelma had no idea that this act would be the start of the Creston Pet and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). PAWS was registered as a charity in 1997, with Claudia Grimstead as President.  

Early efforts included a telephone answering service so that people with animal care concerns could call in. More than a thousand calls were answered in the first year. Before too long, the group began advertising for permanent homes for abandoned and unwanted pets.

Claudia, a driving force behind PAWS, and her beloved dog Lily died in a tragic accident in 2001. Claudia had an unwavering commitment and love for animals. Her dream was to build a no-kill animal shelter and sanctuary for the Creston area. Claudia’s death spurred PAWS members, friends, and the community to make sure her dream was realized. Vicki McDonald, who became president after Claudia’s death, Lee Kitto, and Diana Miller worked exhaustively to make sure this happened.  

Shortly after Claudia’s death, Dave Fowler, the owner of the Columbia Recycling Depot donated office space next to the Depot, and PAWS opened its first office.  

In June 2002 came the extraordinary challenge of rescuing the horrifically neglected and suffering Topaz Creek Dogs. This led to PAWS being recognized nationally for their efforts to save these dogs.

PAWS’ nationally-recognized effort led to 3 large private-sector grants, donations, and contributions. This allowed PAWS to buy land and build a shelter at their current location. Thanks to the help of the many dedicated volunteers who donated almost all the construction labour, PAWS opened their shelter ‘Claudia’s Place Animal Care and Rehabilitation Centre’ in 2010.  

Having a permanent location helped grow the volunteers from 5 in the early days to over 40 today, several filling dual roles.    

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