By Sabina Mollot
Jon Huston and Steve Carroll, the owners of dog daycare center Paws & Relax on Avenue B, have set their sights on the animals left on their own following the flooding caused by Harvey. The owners of the business, both former residents of Stuyvesant Town as well as Peter Cooper Village, set up a GoFundMe page on Tuesday in the hope of raising $2,500 to send food to dogs in Texas who’ve been rescued after being abandoned or lost. By Friday at 9 a.m., the campaign exceeded its goal, totaling $2,850.
On Thursday afternoon, Town & Village spoke with Huston, who confirmed the effort had “taken off like wildfire.” At that point, the campaign had raised $2,440.
Huston said he and Carroll started the GoFundMe page after hearing about many animals who’d been stranded after their owners fled their homes.
“When we saw pictures of dogs being carried through waste waters, obviously by people who had to think of themselves and leave their animals behind, it was absolutely heartbreaking,” Huston said.
They’d previously fostered rescued animals after Hurricane Katrina, and continued to shelter rescued animals after opening Paws & Relax near Stuyvesant Town a few years later. This effort, however, began just with Huston and Carroll posting about a fundraising goal on their Facebook pages, which was shared by friends they have around the country and the world. The GoFundMe page has since been shared around 200 times.
Huston said with the money they raise, they’ll be purchasing dog food from The Honest Kitchen, a company whose products they sell at their business. The food will come in dehydrated, individual portions that recipients just have to add water to. With the food getting purchased wholesale, Huston said a 10 pound bag will cost 10 dollars and feed a dog for 11 days.
On the GoFundMe page, Carroll wrote: “We are working with shelters in Texas and absorbing all shipping costs associated with getting the food to Texas — donations will be used only to purchase food for animals in need.” He added that if someone is aware of anyone caring for an animal in need, he can be contacted through the campaign so delivery can be arranged.
The GoFundMe page is online here.