TULSA, Oklahoma – Krista Ward, 36-year-old, had a drug problem for 15 years. “I completely hit rock bottom,” said Ward. This past year Harley, her dog, came into the picture and she wanted help to stay sober. She started a 12&12 process but had no one to take care of Harley.
In Oklahoma, a Tulsa nonprofit is making sure pets are taken care of while their owners get help for issues like addiction, mental health, or homelessness. This organisation, named Pause 4 Paws, wants to make sure people can get treatment without having to give up their pets. “There are people out there who have no one in their lives,” said Pause 4 Paws Executive Director Cindy Webb.
“I was constantly worried about her, and I was calling everyone to go pick her up and no one could. My friend Jay told me about Pause 4 Paws, and they instantly went and got her and took great care of her,” said Ward. The nonprofit Pause 4 Paws steps in and take the animal to a foster family until the owner gets the help they need. “I feel like they saved my dog and they saved me because I could’ve left rehab to go get her,” said Krista Ward.
“The woman who started it found out that people were not going in for drug treatment, mental health care, or medical care if they were homeless because they had a pet and no one to care for it,” said Webb.
“We always make sure that they are vaccinated, spayed, and neutered before they go back to their owners,” said Webb. “People have to have referrals from social service agencies in order to get connected with us officially.”
Ward has been sober since April 13.
“I completely was able to concentrate on my recovery then, because I knew in my heart she was taken care of,” said Ward.
Picture credit: www.pause4pawsok.org