4 Paws Animal Rescue: Run, dog! Run!

Stretching the Point

4 Paws Animal Rescue, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the care, rehabilitation and adoption of domestic animals, will host its second annual Pints and Paws 5K Run/Walk, a one-mile fun run/walk and “Pup Strut” on October 1.

The rescue operation, staffed fully by volunteers, specializes in the rescue and placement of abused, unwanted and abandoned companion animals without discrimination based on health, age or breed. It has rescued more than 2,000 dogs since its inception. Animals in its care are examined, vaccinated, spayed/neutered and receive medical treatment before choosing carefully screened adopters.

Kelly Endebrock, who founded 4 Paws in 2015 and is president, says “I’ve always had a love for animals and when my kids left for college, my husband Brock and I felt a big hole,” Endebrock says. The couple has two adult daughters, Hannah and Lindsey. Hannah, a graphic artist, creates graphics for the rescue, while Lindsey, a nanny, helps with bottle-feeding puppies and kittens and works events.

“I joined the rescue intending to foster senior dogs after losing my 15-year-old golden retriever,” says Carol Berg, race director. She fostered a hound mix who escaped her backyard and then returned. “After months of living inside, petrified of everything, I knew she was meant to be mine,” Berg says. “I can’t imagine life without her.”

Pints and Paws is co-sponsored by Colonial Sports, and packet pick-up will be held at 7 a.m. on race day. Participants may bring a new item, such as dog/cat food, treats, toys, cat litter and gift cards to receive an additional door prize ticket. Dogs may accompany participants on the 1-Mile event if they wear a harness/collar and leash. 

Participants who register by September 15 will receive a race tee shirt and a finisher medal. Drinks and pizza will be served.

The Pup Strut and Photo Contest takes place after the 1-Mile and 5K. Contest categories include best-dressed pet, best pet/owner look-alike, cutest pet smile, best large breed and best small breed. Event awards include the top three male/female overall, the top three dogs in different age groups and the top three male/female finishers for the competitive walk.

Berg says, “The more volunteers 4 Paws has, the more dogs we can save.” Fosters, handlers, transporters and others help with administrative needs. Funds are raised by holding events such as Pints and Paws, donation drives and sponsorships. 

“If you are interested in adopting a dog or cat,” Endebrock says, “go to the website and start the process online.
4 Paws strives to find the best homes possible for its dogs; and to find the right dog for the adopter and his or her lifestyle. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact the rescue.”

4 Paws relies heavily on adoption fees, which cover operating expenses and veterinarian care for animals. Details can be found on the 4 Paws website. It also donates time and supplies to local wildlife rescues and provides trapping service and food to help local pet owners who are missing their pets.

“Animals don’t have their own voice and are often misunderstood; that’s what motivates me,” Endebrock says. “The best reward is when a petrified dog becomes a real dog through adoption. My proudest achievement is the network we’ve built to help our mission,” she continues. “Our network includes fosters, volunteers and outstanding veterinary care through Poquoson Veterinary Hospital, Animal Emergency Center and York Veterinary Hospital.”

4 Paws also partners with Unchain America, a national organization helping to free chained and penned dogs. “4 Paws Animal Rescue is operated by caring owners, rescuers and rehabbers,” says Robin Budin, executive director of Unchain America. “It’s been my pleasure to work with this fantastic organization for years.”

Endebrock’s ultimate dream would be to provide a rescue sanctuary for senior dogs in medical need. She looks forward to founding a Seniors4Seniors program. As most rescues won’t adopt to people over a certain age, she hopes to fill that gap. This program would be for senior dogs placed as fosters with senior citizens who would like companionship.

“We are in the community as much as possible,” Endebrock says. “I think our organization has grown because we are vested in helping our community in other ways.” 

TO THE POINT:
4 Paws Animal Rescue
Address: P.O. Box 1624, Hayes, VA 23072
Contact: Carol Berg, race director
Phone: 757-544-8565
Email: 4pawz@cox.net
Website: www.4pawz.org

About Cathy Welch 74 Articles
Cathy Welch is a Hampton Roads-based writer, photographer and book editor. She says her life is an eclectic mix of career and FAMILY. She earned our Bachelors degree in business administration at Christopher Newport University, minoring in Spanish. Her career has been full- and part-time as an administrator, an engineering assistant, a bookseller, a merchandiser, a naval photography layout assistant, an office manager, a grant writer and a human resource manager, all giving her experiences that feed her writing. She fosters pups and does what she can to bless those who are in need, whether human or canine. She can be reached at 757-870-0768 or at cathywelch25@gmail.com.