By Annette Velarde

Paws for Life, Utah

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” – IMMANUEL KANT

There is only one being on earth that truly loves you unconditionally – your pet. Animals are unencumbered by the vices that plague humans and always have their priorities straight: relationships first, things second. Throughout the ages, they have been our greatest teachers of how to live in the present moment and find joy in the simplest of pleasures. At Paws for Life, a few caring humans recognize animals’ sacred place in our lives, and give themselves fully to protecting the lives of our four- legged friends.

143Paws For Life-Utah (PFLU) is a 501c3 charity that is entirely run by volunteers. Working hand- in-hand with the Heber Valley Animal Shelter, the organization is committed to helping abandoned dogs and cats find permanent homes with loving owners. Their efforts also assist the Heber Valley Animal Shelter to stay open during regular hours of operation so the general public can meet potential pets.

Recently, Liz Field (publisher of this magazine) learned first- hand how gratifying working to save the life of an abandoned animal is. She was waiting at the reception counter of the Heber Valley Animal Shelter checking to see if a friend’s lost dog had been brought in, when a few young children walked through the door crying with a box containing eight kittens that were just days old. The children had seen the kittens’ mother, which had been hit by a car and killed. Both Liz and the Paws for Life volunteer behind the counter knew these tiny bundles of life would not make it through the night without super- heroes on their side. Hearts swelled and compassion kicked in. Liz took four kittens that were barely clinging to life home to foster. Volunteer, Cynthia Jones, took the other four. After weeks of 24/7 bottle-feedings and supervision, all eight pulled through. If the photos included with this article of these now healthy kittens don’t bring tears to your eyes, you may want to check your pulse. These and many other animals saved by Paws for Life volunteers are now waiting for their forever family.

Like all ventures of the heart, the work done by Paws for Life-Utah is an art. It is a living demonstration of the fragile dance between humans and animals and requires the participation of us all if it is to succeed. A grass-roots organization, PFLU always welcomes new volunteers, adoptive families, and financial support to help pay for veterinary expenses and basic needs for the animals in their care. If you or someone you know holds animals in high regard and would like to help make their lives better, please go to to learn more about how you can help.

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