Paw Works receives support in honor of Betty White

The world mourned on Dec. 31 when Betty White’s passing was sadly announced, just weeks away from celebrating her 100th birthday. Although she was not here to celebrate with the rest of us, she lives on in memoriam through the rising #BettyWhiteChallenge. This online trend encourages people to donate $5 to their local animal shelters in honor of Betty White who was known for her support of animal rescues. The trend has reached our local community, as seen with Ventura County’s Paw Works, a local animal rescue that many have come to know and love.

Brittany Viscarra, who works at the Camarillo establishment, explained how Paw Works celebrated the #BettyWhiteChallenge in their own way. “We launched our own hashtag which was #BeLikeBetty. It was kind of geared towards encouraging community members to do what they can to ‘hashtag’ be like Betty… You can volunteer, adopt, foster or even spread word of mouth. Or if you’re so inclined, go ahead and donate, but everybody can do their part to be more like Betty,” Viscarra said.

When Paw Works began in 2014, they started with an extensive mission: make their Ventura County shelters “no-kill” [when a rescue center has to have at least a 90 percent placement rate for the animals in their care] within a year. “We achieved that goal in 30 days of opening our doors. Since then, we have expanded our reach outside of Ventura County and pulled from all over the state of California. We’ve also worked with a partner state in Louisiana doing a rescue transport of a couple dozen animals out there, bringing our total in the last eight years to over 12,000 animals rescued,” Viscarra said. 

Paw Works has attributed much of its success to its online presence. Viscarra, who works in the company’s media outreach, has seen the positive effects firsthand. “I think social media has been able to help us really find a way to reach more people in a very open and honest way that’s kind of our own. People, you know, get upset or they’re like ‘Why are your adoption fees so high?’ or ‘Why can’t I adopt a dog that’s only for foster?’ and I can respond to those with educational information,” Viscarra expressed. 

Preaching the values of Paw Works as well as every other shelter, Viscarra reminds all civilians how simple it can be to make a difference for thousands of rescue animals with a single click. “If that’s sharing, you know, a post or volunteering… every single thing you do as far as education, awareness, volunteering, donating or adopting are all things that everybody can do to help the issue in our community until it’s no longer an issue,” Viscarra said.