P.A.W.S. launches fund-raising efforts

More than 150 patrons of P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support) were treated to a high society cocktail party hosted by La Jollans Jack and Judy White on Sunday, May 18.

The eighth annual event, traditionally held in one of San Diego’s beautiful homes, honored supporters who donated $225. Guests were treated to hor d’oeuvres, a host bar and swag bags.

Purrrfect Pet Award recipient Julie Newmar, known for her role as Cat Woman on the T.V. series “Bat Man,” was unable to attend, so her close friend and fellow animal lover Margaret O’Brien accepted on her behalf.

La Jolla’s ARK Antiques was also honored with an award for their work with animals.

Attendees at the Legendary Pedigree Party will also receive tickets for Fiesta Del P.A.W.S. Sunday, June 1. That fund-raiser, which is open to the public, will be hosted in the Mission Hills garden estate of Bobbie Bohannan Sunday, June 1.

The fiesta is a chance for people to mingle, meet entertainers, sample gourmet food and wine, and bid on items during the Simply Sensational Silent Auction. Grant Taylor will be providing live entertainment.

Dick Van Patten, last year’s Companion for Life award recipient, will present this year’s award to actress Rose Marie from the “Dick Van Dyke Show.”

Matthew Midgett, founder of Fiesta Del P.A.W.S, and Esther Nahama co-chaired the event.

After learning about the organization and their need for financial support, Midgett was inspired to call on his well-heeled friends for support.

“It was such a compelling mission and people were trying so hard to help so many with so little,” Midgett said.

P.A.W.S. was started 15 years ago by a group of concerned individuals in Escondido. They realized that friends and family members facing illness, financial difficulties or hospitalization were frequently unable to take care of their pets. Their goal: to keep pets and owners together.

“If you take away their pets, you take away one of life’s biggest attributes,” said Lynn Pittman, a P.A.W.S board member. "(P.A.W.S.) developed a volunteer brigade to go in and help people with their animals.”

Today the organization serves more than 600 individuals by delivering food, changing cat litter, walking dogs, taking pets to vet appointments and temporarily sheltering pets.

Another 100 people are on a waiting list for the much-needed services.

“It’s very much driven by everybody’s love for animals and keeping people with their pets,” Pittman said.

To purchase tickets to Fiesta Del P.A.W.S, call (619) 297-7297 or visit