Teaming up and saving lives

Whether it’s your first Mutt Strut or your tenth, lifesaving is even more rewarding when you’re part of a team! Every year, Mutt Strutters raise thousands of critically needed dollars for Philly’s most vulnerable pets. We asked some of this year’s teams why they strut, and they had so much to share!

House of Phy

Cat Lovers Are Mutt Strutters Too!
Although last year’s Virtual Mutt Strut was the first time that cats could participate in the Strut, cat lovers have participated in the Strut for many years! PAWS is grateful to ALL the animal lovers who create fundraising teams to support PAWS and bring Philadelphia one step closer to being a no-kill city.
One cat loving team is the Cats of Phy, captained by longtime PAWS volunteer Jackie Phy, who says PAWS is her most favorite nonprofit and describes PAWS work as epic and vital. We asked Jackie about her team, her love of PAWS, and how she is raising funds for the Mutt Strut.

Tell us about yourselves!
The Barkeologists & Lipurrians have grown from a collection of friends who shared pics of their pets at lunch time to a network of animal lovers and PAWS fans from all around Penn. Most of our crew come from the Penn Museum, the Penn Libraries, and the Penn School of Arts & Sciences. As a team, this will be our fifth year, we started attending in together in 2015. Each year, we add more puns to our team description, as our members grow.

Why do you strut? What’s your favorite part?
For us humans, I think it’s getting to meet so many adorable old and new dog friends, always looking their best 🙂 But based on the wails and wags from past years, our dog pals always loved the squirrel chase! You could hear Ace, Milo, and Lila howling to get to the front of the line from the other side of the river. Most of us have adopted from PAWS, are the godparents of PAWS pals, or volunteer with PAWS. The rest of our other furry teammates came from other shelters in the area. We strut because we all have been saved by our pets, one way or another. Team member Liza said it best: “I adopted senior Lorelei from PAWS and we lived happily ever after – since she is possibly the best life decision I’ve ever made.”

What’s your fundraising strategy?
Pictures and videos have always been effective: I love to post things from last year’s Mutt Strut to our work Slack and internal web message boards. We often get new team members that way. Ace also records special videos with a Part 1 to request supporting our team and a Part 2 thanking them. And after every strut, we make postcards for donors to hang on their fridge (to remind them to keep supporting our team and PAWS)! We can’t wait to strut!

Pitbulls and Strombolis

Long time PAWS supporters, first time Mutt Strutters!
As we celebrate the 15th year of PAWS Mutt Strut and the return to our in-person event at the Navy Yard, we are delighted that so many people are joining us to raise thousands of critically needed dollars for Philly’s most vulnerable pets.

Members of the Tringali Family – Alexandra, Dawn, James, and Christian – have supported PAWS in many ways, for many years, yet have never participated in the Mutt Strut before. We asked Alexandra why they strut and how their team, Pitbulls and Strombolis, is raising funds for PAWS.

What’s the meaning of your team name?
Our team’s name is Pitbulls and Strombolis, (a play on Pitbulls and Parolees!) because we’ll be bringing a pit bull, PAWS alum Snoopy, and a bulldog, an ACCT alum named Stromboli!

What inspired you to participate in the Mutt Strut?
We’ve never participated in the Mutt Strut before, and we’re so excited to be a part of it this year – I already bought my dog a costume! We try to participate in every event from PAWS and we cleared our calendars the day the Mutt Strut was announced to make sure we could be there.

Tell us about your connections to PAWS
We have MANY connections to PAWS! I was a dog volunteer at Old City pre-covid, and now I volunteer at Grays Ferry, as well as help out with PAWS social media pages. My parents, Dawn and James, support PAWS and have named a surgery recovery room named after my grandfather, Alfred Cavallaro, who was a huge proponent of saving animals. My family also rescued longtime PAWS resident, Eleanor (formerly known at PAWS as Helga), who was my absolute best friend. The connection she and I had was unlike anything else. After she passed away, we adopted Snoopy from PAWS.

How have you raised funds for your team?
We’ve spread the word among out family, and we have donated ourselves, too!

Anything else you’d like to share?
We want to do everything we can to make Philadelphia a no kill city and find every single cat and dog a happy home!!