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The History of Paws Along The River

The Warren County Humane Society (WCHS) was founded in 1930 in Northwest Pennsylvania as a private non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. The Warren County Humane Society was founded to provide services to the City of Warren and our surrounding county. Our primary purpose is the protection and care of stray, unwanted and abused domestic animals in Warren County and was incorporated in 1931.

Historically, our Humane Society has continuously evolved.

In 1930 animals were housed on member properties throughout the 883 square miles of Warren County.

Our first shelter was Established in Clarendon, Pa. with some dog houses on a small piece of property.

In 1960, a one-room shelter was established with cages that housed dogs and cats, and a small fenced area for exercise during good weather.

In 1977 Our next home was in the City of Warren when City workers helped build the Humane Society on Elm Street. This building would ba a home to nearly 1200 animals a year and made every effort to do our important work in very meager surroundings.

In 1978, a 50+ year lease was signed for building the Elm Street shelter.

In 1980’s the original building was been expanded and altered many times including laundry facilities, an additional set of 12 dog kennels and an isolation room. Our primary goal is to find permanent homes for our animals. In consideration of that goat, our shelter has implemented a temperament testing program for our animals and implemented a unique home visit program where pets can visit a potential home for 10 days to help the new owners understand their commitment. This program has proven to be very successful, and we have had fewer pets returned. Our cruelty program continues to be an important part of the services we offer our community. While initial efforts are directed toward education, we do everything within our power to protect the rights of domestic animals in our county, including successfully prosecuting violators of the State laws.

In 1990's our shelter services and programs have continued to expand, as have our collaborative efforts with local officials, veterinarians, and farmers. We providing pet adoption services, educational and volunteer opportunities, assist citizens with animal behavioral issues in order to keep their pets in their homes, and assist local police where animals are involved.

In 1996 We started our cruelty officer program and provided the Humane Officer for the county through a state contract, protecting hundreds of animals and taking the extra step to act as an advocate for our community's abused women and children by working closely with human services, law enforcement personnel, and the women's shelter.

In 1998 our garage was remodeled into three cat rooms.

Our location on the bank of the Allegheny River attributed to deterioration of the building and presented many problems and deficiencies that could no longer be overcome by working with the existing structure. These problems include a shifting back kennel wall along the river side, broken underground drains, dogs exposed to outside' extreme weather conditions, inadequate cat room air handling system for controlling disease and odors, high heating bills, limited or lack of space for animal care and dealing with confidential matters, and insufficient handicap facilities.

In early 2003, a letter was written to two business men in Warren to ask for their help in making some difficult decisions for our building which was not serving the work and the animals we needed to help. Through their generosity Bob Sokolski and Hal Connaro of Whirley Industries in Warren, they took up the tasks of assisting us in beginning a Capital Campaign to build a new Humane Society.

In 2004 our journey began and we never looked back. The generous supporters of Warren and surrounding areas, our grants that were awarded and all the caring hard working individuals that we can’t begin to thank enough, we raised nearly $900,000 to build our new building.

In 2007 We opened the doors to our new beautiful facility and have been helping animals in need ever since.

In 2012 Warren County Humane Society name was changed to: Paws Along The River Humane Society

Paws Along The River Humane Society:

• Is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization

• Receives Minimal county & city funding

• Is not affiliated with, nor a subsidiary of any national or local animal welfare organization

• Relies upon private donations, grants, legacies, bequests and fundraising events

• Relies on our many volunteers helping at the shelter to keep our animals well cared for.

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