How St. Charles-based rescue It's All About the Paws finds new homes for pets surrendered by their owners

  • Ashley Grabenhofer, a volunteer with It's All About The Paws, gives a treat to some pups during a 2020 adoption event. This year's It's All About The Paws: Adoption Event is Oct. 9 and 10 in St. Charles.

    Ashley Grabenhofer, a volunteer with It's All About The Paws, gives a treat to some pups during a 2020 adoption event. This year's It's All About The Paws: Adoption Event is Oct. 9 and 10 in St. Charles. Courtesy of LAR Photography

 
 
Updated 9/16/2021 6:27 AM

One of the few bright spots during the pandemic shutdown seemed to be that shelters were adopting out their animals faster than usual.

Seems people stuck at home were looking for some four-legged companions to while away the days.

 

Now that life is returning to some sense of normalcy, these same shelters are sadly seeing quite a few of those dogs and cats returning.

It's All About The Paws, a foster-based rescue in the St. Charles area, has made it its mission to focus solely on owner surrenders through its Rehome Assistance Program.

"As a rescue community, we have already started experiencing a severe increase in owner surrenders, and it's looking like just the beginning," said Erika Seibert, founder and president of It's All About The Paws, in an email.

Rachel Soroka, a board member and financial adviser for It's All About The Paws, with her husband, Chris, and their adopted pittie, Remie.
Rachel Soroka, a board member and financial adviser for It's All About The Paws, with her husband, Chris, and their adopted pittie, Remie. - Courtesy of LAR Photography

The nonprofit organization aims to first and foremost help pet owners find a way to keep their furry friends in the home by finding resources to help solve any problems, whether it is behavioral, medical or affordability.

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However, if the only solution is to rehome the animal, It's All About The Paws offers help to make the process easy and safe for all involved.

According to its website, www.itsallaboutthepaws.org, the mission is to help owner surrenders stay out of the shelter system and enter a foster home until a new family can be found.

To help the cause, the group will host an adoption and fundraising event Oct. 9 and 10 in St. Charles. It will feature various rescue organizations, raffles, local vendors, musicians and more.

According to Seibert, all proceeds before and during the event will go to the rescues in attendance. These proceeds help local rescues continue to save lives and care for their animals.

Seibert talks about her rescue and the upcoming fundraiser.

From left, Rachel Soroka, board member & financial adviser; Kelly Moran, volunteer; Monica Behnke, vice president; Erika Seibert, founder; and Ashley Grabenhofer, volunteer, show off a table full of auction items at a 2020 event for It's All About The Paws.
From left, Rachel Soroka, board member & financial adviser; Kelly Moran, volunteer; Monica Behnke, vice president; Erika Seibert, founder; and Ashley Grabenhofer, volunteer, show off a table full of auction items at a 2020 event for It's All About The Paws. - Courtesy of LAR Photography
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Q: Give a brief overview of what your organization does and who you serve.

A: It's All About The Paws, NFP, is a 501(c) 3 foundation that is dedicated to helping owner surrenders stay out of the shelter system through our Rehome Assistance Program in hopes to help make Chicago a no-kill city.

IAATP is dedicated to raising awareness and educating our communities on the importance of adoption, spay and neuter programs, and health and wellness, as well as supporting the rescue community and bringing awareness to their adoptable animals and mission.

Q: Where do the majority of your donations come from?

A: The majority of our donations come from donors in the community. We also raise the most funds out of the entire year at our annual fundraiser, It's All About The Paws: Adoption Event.

These funds allow us to help more animals looking for a new home, and help us provide the best care for the current animals in our program.

This gorgeous guy was at the It's All About The Paws adoption event in 2020. Come out to see animals up for adoption, as well as local vendors, during the It's All About The Paws: Adoption Event Oct. 9 and 10 in St. Charles.
This gorgeous guy was at the It's All About The Paws adoption event in 2020. Come out to see animals up for adoption, as well as local vendors, during the It's All About The Paws: Adoption Event Oct. 9 and 10 in St. Charles. - Courtesy of LAR Photography

Q: Tell us about the It's All About The Paws: Adoption Event.

A: Our event takes place during the nationally recognized festival (note: not to be confused with part of the festival) St. Charles Scarecrow Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, and Sunday, Oct. 10, at Baker Memorial Park, Main Street and North 5th Avenue.

For the past six years, we have partnered and brought together several other local rescue organizations, small businesses, music vendors and more to bring our animal loving community a fun-filled weekend.

We will have dogs, (maybe cats and bunnies), raffles, merchandise, a costume contest, swag bags, and more.

We will have at least 5-7 rescue organizations attending, several local vendors, musicians, photography, photo booth, free coffee and cupcakes, and more.

The first 20 dogs to come will receive a free swag bag. From noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 9, we will be hosting a costume contest, and the first 10 kids to participate will receive a free swag bag.

For details, visit www.itsallaboutthepaws.org/ or visit our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/itsallaboutthepawsnfp.

Q: How can readers help if they can't participate in the event?

A: If you can't participate in the event the best thing to do is help spread the word about our event and share our posts on social media. The more people that know about our event the better! And, of course, donate if possible.

A table full of raffle and auction items at a 2020 event for It's All About The Paws. This year's fundraiser takes place Oct. 9 and 10 in St. Charles.
A table full of raffle and auction items at a 2020 event for It's All About The Paws. This year's fundraiser takes place Oct. 9 and 10 in St. Charles. - Courtesy of LAR Photography

Q: What else would like readers to know?

A: While IAATP is a small, growing organization, we have big plans to make a difference in our communities. None of this would be possible without our amazing supporters and donors, and we are so thankful! We can't wait to see where IAATP grows and everything that the future holds for us.

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