Grab a treat, take a seat, and round up your furry friends, because on Monday, February 17th, Paw Works is coming to Hallmark Channel! Tails of Joy is a one-hour television special dedicated to real life animal rescue. Created by Chad Atkins (founder of Paw Works) and Kristi Foley, the program not only follows some incredible physical and emotional animal transformations, but showcases the team of hardworking individuals who have ultimately turned this dream into a reality. Join host Larissa Wohl and watch the magic happen as these newly confident canines and fearless felines find their forever homes.
Founded on January 17, 2014, Paw Works is a rescue organization that fights for the lives of our four-legged companions. Just one month after its opening day, the company successfully accomplished its goal of helping Ventura County, California reach a “No Kill” status! Since then, Paw Works has traveled to a number of shelters across Southern California, removing abandoned dogs and cats from the cages that confine them, and placing them into loving homes with owners who are just as loyal as they are. Over the past 6 years, Paw Works has saved the lives of nearly 6,500 animals, established an educational volunteer program (Child Pet Ambassador Program) for children as young as 6 years old, and administered over 500 spay and neuter services free of charge for low-income residents of Los Angeles and Ventura County.
Eager to learn more about this amazing organization and the Tails of Joy special, BELLA connected with founder Chad Atkins himself…
Can you tell me a little more about the Hallmark Channel Tails of Joy special?
So in late November of 2019, Pleasant Street Entertainment followed Paw Works in a transport of 60 dogs and cats and that’s where the story starts. Once back at our facility, we then process all the animals over the next 4-6 hours. This includes vaccinations, microchipping, giving them a bath, their first meal, etc. Over the next week or two, we get them spayed and neutered and then ready to go to their forever homes. We then show how some animals get adopted very quickly, and some take a little longer to be placed (our longest resident was with us for 444 days) just because they need more socialization or care.
How did the idea for the special come about?
The idea actually came from me! I am always bewildered when people see us bringing fun and fluffy animals over to them and they assume I have the best job in the world. I actually have the worst job in the world, they’re just experiencing the best part of it. So I always wanted to show people what it’s truly like to do rescue and how eclectic the people who do it are as well. I have about 20 employees myself and they have become some my best friends. We’ve just become this dysfunctional family. I’ve always wanted to show that because people don’t realize that this is a life long mission. It’s never ending and it’s a 24/7 thing. Animals don’t stop getting euthanized just because it’s the holidays. So when Kristi Foley (executive producer) adopted 2 dogs from us, she saw my passion for animals and we quickly became best friends. She has a really good relationship with Hallmark channel and suggested that we shoot a little something and send it over to them—so we did.
What do you hope viewers take away from Tails of Joy?
I want people to realize that every bit helps. I want people to do more because I don’t think we do enough. We’re so focused on our own lives that we often forget everything is interconnected. For me, animals are the only thing in this world that give unconditional love and we’re the ones who have created the issue of pet overpopulation. I want people to realize that what they do affects our whole world. Also if you have a passion in your life, follow it! You can be the richest person in the world if you just follow your dreams.
What is something you would like everyone to know about being a responsible pet owner?
That it’s a lifetime commitment. Having an animal should not be taken lightly, and they should be as much a part of your family as your own kids are. They are not discardable!
Are there any other exciting projects on the horizon for Paw Works that you can share with us at this time?
Well we’re always expanding our facilities and we’re on track to save 2,000 animals this year. I don’t have any more production in the works right now, but my goal is to have a weekly series on rescue that will really delve into every aspect of it and the people who do it. I truly believe that one day we will be able to save all the animals—I want to put myself out of business.
For more information on Paw Works, pet adoption, and how you can get involved in the fight to end pet overpopulation, visit pawworks.org.
Make sure to tune in to Hallmark Channel’s Tails of Joy special airing Monday, February 17th at 10pm/9c!
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