Paws 4 You
Lisa Merkin’s work with animals has been a true lifelong calling, beginning back in childhood and evolving into her dedication to Paws 4 You. “I have always been involved with animals whether it be horses or dogs…,” says Merkin. “Even as a child I tried to save every lost dog that I found.” In fact, her friendship with Carol Caridad (Paws 4 You’s CEO) began at the age of 11, making her allegiance to the organization a natural fit for both her love of animals and ties to the community as founder of social media company, Around Pinecrest. “I grew up in the Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay Area and have very strong ties to this community,” she says.
About Her work:
A 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer, donor-subsidized animal rescue organization, Paws 4 You works to save dogs from euthanasia at Miami-Dade Animal Services, where more than 27,000 unwanted pets end up each year. “Once we have committed to an animal, they will have the best care possible no matter what,” says Merkin. The organization depends on their volunteer “family” to help care for the rescued animals, some of whom may require major surgery, additional rehabilitation time or specific medical care. They then take the animals to events around the community with the hope of finding a forever home. “When you see a dog wag its tail after being rescued or a family smile when they take their new dog home, we know we are making a difference,” says Merkin.
Aside from continuing their work on behalf of “those who can’t speak for themselves,” Merkin says the organization is focusing on educating the community at large about pet overpopulation. “It’s vital that people understand the importance of spaying and neutering their animals so that we eliminate the number of strays.” On a weekly basis Merkin and her fellow volunteers (“Our volunteers are everything,” says Merkin) host pet adoption events every Sunday at PetSmart Pinecrest as well as on the last Saturday of each month at their shelter and are looking forward to their annual “Casino Night” fundraiser in January. “We are one of the good guys,” says Merkin. “Everything we do is do for the benefit of the animals.”