On Wednesday, the City of Sebastian honored “For The Love Of Paws” Senior Pet Sanctuary for all their volunteer work.
The organization was launched in June of 2014 following the sudden and tragic passing of Jessica Pankiewicz. Jessica’s husband Ted Pankiewicz started “For The Love Of Paws” as a memorial to his wife.
Initially, the staff worked out of a garage bagging and distributing pet food for the Indian River County Senior Resource’s Meals On Wheels Program. They also began fostering pets when their senior owners could no longer care for them until they could find them a permanent home.
The non-profit pet rescue service has expanded multiple times to support its growth efforts, earning the Indian River County/Vero Beach Human Society’s 2016 Joan G. Carlson Animal Protection Award. They also received the 211 Community Helpline’s 2019 Animal Welfare Organization of the Year Award.
In July 2019, the organization donated additional Pet Emergency Oxygen Kits to the local firehouses after Ted Pankiewicz, Director of “For The Love Of Paws,” saw a picture one day showing police and fire rescue resuscitating four dogs that were brought out of a burning home fire.
“For The Love Of Paws” currently operates two fixed-location distribution centers providing pet food to more than 18 food pantries. They partner with the Treasure Coast Food Bank to support the USDA Senior Citizen Supplemental Food Program by delivering both “people food” and “pet food” to residents below the poverty level.
On January 12, 2021, the Senior Pet Sanctuary was honored by the Board of County Commissioners in Indian River County.
For more information, visit the For The Love Of Paws website or call the at 772-539-2417. They are located at 12198 CR-512 in Fellsmere, Florida.