ASPCA Celebrates with “Let’s Paws for Earth Day” Community Event

April 27, 2018

Detective Katrina Selkirk

Detective Katrina Selkirk of the NYPD Patrol Borough Staten Island with adoptable kitten, Ian. 

Last weekend, as New Yorkers finally got a taste of spring weather, the ASPCA celebrated with our “Let’s Paws for Earth Day” community outreach event on Staten Island. Similar to last year’s event, we partnered with NYPD’s Patrol Borough of Staten Island, and dedicated the day to promoting health and wellness for people, pets and (of course) the earth. 

While the event offered some fun activities such as an adorable pet costume contest and face painting, the ASPCA Community Engagement team’s mobile unit was the busiest station throughout the day. People began lining up well before the event began in order to receive free vaccines for their dogs and cats, and the line continued until the end of the day. 

“Community events like these give us the opportunity to provide veterinary services to those in need, and to connect with pet parents on ways to keep their pets healthy,” says Dara Ruiz, Senior Manager, ASPCA Community Engagement team. “We are so grateful to the NYPD for helping us with our community outreach efforts—an important step toward our ultimate goal of keeping pets in loving homes.”


All in all, the day was a massive success, with Dara reporting that 100 dogs and 25 cats received vaccines. Some pet parents were returning clients, happy to see the event take place again. Linda F. and her seven-year-old pit bull, Tiff, were some of the first to be seen. “The folks here know that Tiff isn’t very social with other animals, so they arranged to take her for her shots right away,” Linda tells us. 

“It was very nice of them. Having access to this service is so important, especially because Tiff has some other medical and skin issues that make vet bills high.”

Richard C. and his dog Apollo with with Roni Afriat, and Detective Mary Kelly with Beverly Jones

Left: Richard C. and his dog Apollo with with Roni Afriat, Forensic Veterinary Assistant with ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement. Right: Detective Mary Kelly of the NYPD Patrol Borough Staten Island and Beverly Pietrucha, ASPCA volunteer, with adoptable dog Champ.

Richard C. of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was in attendance with his eight-month-old Rottweiler/shepherd-mix, Apollo, who was able to get his secondary shots that day. 

“It’s a great thing,” Richard says of the affordable veterinary services. “I was getting worried about his secondary shots. You all are doing great work out here.”

orensic Veterinary Assistant, Roni, helps Freddy and Freddy, Brownie and their pet parent Angel wait for services

Left: Forensic Veterinary Assistant, Roni, helps Freddy get his shots. Right: Freddy, Brownie and their pet parent Angel wait for services at the ASPCA table. 

Community resident Angel F. spotted the Let’s Paws for Earth Day flyers in the neighborhood and decided to bring his dogs—a four-year-old Pomeranian named Brownie, and a pit bull puppy named Freddy—by for vaccinations as well.

Detective Danielle Douglas

Detective Danielle Douglas of the NYPD Patrol Borough Staten Island visiting some of our adoptable cats. 

But Community Engagement wasn’t the only ASPCA team working hard that day. The ASPCA mobile adoption van was also on site with some of our adorable adoptable dogs and cats. Attendee Erica L. had been told about the event, decided to stop by and ended up leaving with a new four-legged family member. Five-month-old kitten, Messner, won her over and she adopted him that day—making Messner her first pet! In total, three cats and one dog found homes as a result of the Mobile Adoption Unit’s participation in the Paws for Earth Day event.

Erica Ly with newly adopted kitten Messner and ASPCA Community Engagement Case Worker, Mohammed Khaled

Erica Ly with newly adopted kitten Messner and ASPCA Community Engagement Case Worker, Mohammed Khaled.  

We are thrilled to have seen such a great turn-out in Staten Island, and we look forward to connecting with the people and pets of New York at future community outreach events to continue. 

Let’s Paws for Earth Day participating organizations include: the NYPD, Staten Island District Attorney’s Office, NYC Parks Department, NYPD Recruitment & Civilian Careers, Animal Care Centers of NYC, NYC Feral Cat Initiative, FDNY, Department of Health, Safe Horizon, Family Justice Center, Department of Sanitation, Community Agency for Senior Citizens, Project Hospitality, NYC Mental Health Organizations, Costco, Amy’s Pet Palace and more.