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CHICAGO () — A Chicago-based organization is helping those who are low-income, homeless, veterans or seniors with their pets needs.
Paws Salvation is on a mission to preserve the bond between people and pets — for many, animals provide their only companionship. The organization provides food, toys, treats and bedding.
Paw Salvation founder Peter Elueze joined “Morning in America” Wednesday to share a little bit more on his decision to help pets in need.
Elueze has always known one thing: He loves animals. His passion for them grew even greater when he moved to the U.S. from Nigeria seven years ago. He learned that in America, people could adopt and rescue animals; back in Nigeria, they did not have shelters or animal rescue centers until this year.
Learning about the opportunities Americans have to rescue animals, he wanted to do more to help. He noticed that while the government provides some relief to those who are homeless or low-income, the government does not give enough support to cover costs of their pets, forcing owners to split whatever money they have between themselves and their pets.
“Let me care for the animal, because many times they have to take from what they already have,” Elueze said. “That is not enough to split between themselves (and) animals.”
Three years ago, Elueze decided to act on his passion for helping animals. He founded his organization with the sole mission of helping support the financial burden of pets for people who can’t afford to cover their pet’s cost. By helping with these costs, Paws Salvation helps both the pet and the owner.
“There’s nothing like reassuring someone who’s homeless that they would always have food for their pets. Whenever they are low on food, they have a number to call that is reliable. Whenever they call me, I show up,” he said.
Elueze and his wife, Angelica, will often visit downtown Chicago in search of those who need assistance. They drive around and help anyone they encounter.
“We were supposed to have Thanksgiving, and we drove out. I wanted to get something and I saw a stray dog on the road — just running on the road. It took us five hours to catch this dog safely. Now, he’s in a beautiful home.” Elueze recalled of a rescue he and his wife performed.
In addition to helping provide for the animals, Elueze also helped two homeless families living under a bridge in the city move into apartments. Now, one of the veterans he helped transition into a home works with him on his organization’s board. She helps identify other people who need help, and her firsthand experience helps the organization navigate difficult situations.
Peter explained that funding the organization has been challenging at times. He believes not everyone understands exactly the work they are doing.
He also commends his wife for her help and support.
“My wife has to be the one that makes all this happen,” he said, noting that while he is the face of the organization, Angelica is the one behind the scenes making everything possible.
He also attributes his success to his growing team of volunteers and other organizations including local churches, pantries and shelters.
To learn more about Paw Salvation, visit their website or find them on their Facebook and Instagram.