I love that my blog has become a way for locals to reach out and share their passions and causes within the community.
Bridget is a local Dripping Springer (I just made that up, but it sounds fun since she loves dogs so much!) who created a dog treat business that gives 50% of the profits to PAWS animal shelter south of Henly. She messaged me on instagram about sharing some of the features she does on long stay dogs at Paws and I knew she’d be a great person to showcase.
She is passionate about volunteering and raising awareness for these animals who need a second chance. Meet my new friend, Bridget!
Hey Bridget! Tell us more about yourself …
Hi there, I’m Bridget and I’m a stay-at-home mom to my two girls, Esmay who’s 5, and Zoey who’s 2. I’ve been staying home with my girls since my oldest was born and it’s been a whirlwind of 5 years learning and growing as a mom and person while trying to help my girls become the best versions of themselves.
What brought you to Dripping Springs?
My husband and I are originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but we moved to Troy, New York in 2013 to finish up school and after he completed his Ph.D. in Software Engineering he found a job here in Austin at Advanced Micro Devices.
We moved here when our oldest was 1 and have loved it here. We live halfway between Austin and Dripping Springs and Dripping Springs is our favorite, the amount of amazing restaurants, shops, and rural feeling out there is so cozy and homey.
How did you first get connected with PAWS shelter?
During our time in Upstate New York we worked with a rescue as fosters and volunteers and it was such a joy to be involved in; so when we moved to Dripping Springs, I knew I wanted to find a shelter or rescue to volunteer with and PAWS Shelter in Dripping Springs was the closest one to us so I looked into their volunteer opportunities.
Walking dogs and helping out shelter staff in any way I could became such an important outlet for me outside of being a mom and it brought me so much peace and joy to walk the dogs one day a weekend while my husband and daughter had some time together.
Why was that important to you to help at a dog shelter?
I’ve always grown up with pets since I was very young, my dad was a dairy farmer in England so it’s always been a big passion of our family to love animals. When I was about 12 my parents signed me up for a summer camp where we helped to care for and train dogs at Animal Humane of New Mexico to help get the dog we were working with to become more adoptable and a better house guest for their future families and my sister and I both got our dogs adopted which was so bittersweet, but we were so proud of them.
It feels so good to be able to give back to the rescue community as well as help the dogs one on one each time I go out to walk them. Now that my oldest is 5 and my second is 2, I try to go to the shelter once a weekend to walk dogs and give them some socialization and love to help them through the trauma that some of them carry from their previous situations.
My husband is so amazing and supportive and he and our girls love getting that time together at the end of each week.
What is the process to becoming a volunteer out there?
Volunteering is such an incredible outlet and a way to give back to your community and to be the change you want to see in the world.
All of the volunteer information can be found on the PAWS Shelter Website: https://pawsshelter.org/volunteer/ but here are the steps below:
The first step to becoming a volunteer at PAWS Shelter is to fill out an application that you can find on their website.
The second step is to read the volunteer handbook and to read and sign the volunteer agreement/release and waiver of liability.
The third step is to attend a new volunteer orientation and learn about PAWS Shelter, what they do, the opportunities available to volunteers, and how to best handle both the cats and dogs depending on which animal you’d prefer to work with.
What is something that surprised you about volunteering?
I have always been very open with my daughters about my passion for animals and they are both very loving of animals because of it. My oldest loves cats and a few years ago, I started taking her to the shelter with me to spend some time loving on and socializing the cats there.
Spending time with her there was such an incredible bonding experience and seeing her with the animals she loves so much was so special.
There are so many amazing reasons to volunteer and I think everyone has a few hours even once a month to spend doing something that they’re passionate about to help others.
Tell us about your mission to get the long stay dogs adopted…
After spending the last 4 years at PAWS Shelter volunteering and going back each week, month, and year I have been heartbroken to come back and see the same dog there after weeks, months, and even 3 years now. I came across an incredible mission called The Long Stay Project and Amanda runs it.
She focuses on advocating and spotlighting Long Stay dogs in Central Texas and she has been able to help so many dogs through this process. She also advocates for the long stay dogs at the Kyle, Texas PAWS Campus, but the Dripping Springs Campus is a little too far for her.
I asked Amanda if I could start doing something similar to what she does and advocate for the 12 long-stay dogs at the Dripping Springs PAWS so I created @pawsforyourthoughts on Instagram and Facebook and since starting a few weeks ago we have been able to get a dog who had been in the shelter for over a year adopted into an incredible family.
These dogs are incredible, they just need the perfect family who understands them and loves them despite the hardships that often come from their past experiences and trauma.
How did you come up with the idea to make Wild Wolfe Pack Treats?
In early 2022, I made a batch of banana and peanut butter dog treats and shared them with my neighbor to give to her pup Daisy. Daisy was hooked and her mom told me I should think about selling them. My husband Noah and I took some time to get the behind-the-scenes stuff taken care of and then things took off.
I knew from the get-go I wanted to devote a lot of my time and energy to PAWS shelter as rescue animals have a big piece of my heart and that’s why from the beginning and even now we donate 50% of all of our sales to PAWS Shelter.
It has been amazing to have another outlet outside of mom life and have something I can help shift my focus to at the end of the long days that staying home with two kiddos can bring. I have met so many incredible people and dogs through starting WildWolfePack Treats and being able to tangibly help PAWS has been incredible.
Since starting in April of 2022, we have been able to donate almost $2,500 to PAWS and have been able to do a lot of projects around the shelter, including redoing all the mulch in the dog play yards, dropping off cleaning supplies from Costco, making all of the dogs a delicious meal a few weekends ago. I love spoiling dogs with our treats that are homemade with organic and all-natural human-grade ingredients, while also advocating and helping the animals at PAWS Shelter.
Can anyone buy them online or do you only sell locally?
We ship treats all over the United States and also have two retail locations we sell at in Dripping Springs including Rolling in Thyme and Dough on 290 as well as Happy Hounds Pet Salon on Sportsplex Drive.
How can other locals get involved with PAWS?
PAWS Shelter both the Dripping Springs and Kyle locations are always looking for volunteers to help with dog walking, cat socializing, cleaning, and being involved in any other way to help their cause.
They also love having fosters who can take dogs and cats who might need to get out of the shelter environment because it can be a little too stressful for certain animals. Fostering also gives the animals an incredible opportunity to experience a home environment and learn positive manners that will help them become more adoptable and a great member of a future family.
https://pawsshelter.org/ has all the available opportunities to get more involved.
Where are the best places in the area to take your pets on walks or dog parks?
I have found so many amazing pets and people through my wildwolfepacktreats Instagram page and one of my now very good clients has a hiking and trail guide that she has created.
Dripping Springs has so many incredible trails to explore including Monarch Trails, Reimers Ranch Park, Live Oak Loop, Whitetail Run, Bluebonnet Trail, Cedar Run Trail, Founders Memorial Park, and Pedernales State Park.
For more information on these trails and others around Austin check out here link at https://msha.ke/rangr.dangr?fbclid=PAAabFhb5TbN0okbC0OcOG0UWKuqpdJbfqfzOT99cWSylnLJkDzXWHwb1iHEs
Any tips for pet owners in the area?
If you don’t yet have a pet, or you’re looking to add another forever best friend to your family, I of course would recommend looking at a shelter first to see if there’s an animal that is going to fit into your family. It’s also so important to find a veterinarian that you trust and feel comfortable with taking care of your best friend.
Springs Veterinary Care is a great option right in Dripping Springs next to Founders Park.
It’s also great to find a good option for a pet sitter when you’re heading out of town. Rover.com is a great website to find a good fit for someone who either stays in your home with your pet or a place where you can take your pet when you go on any trips in the future.
Making friends can sometimes be hard, but having a friend you can connect with because of your dog is so fun.
@atxdogmommeetup is a great account on Instagram that hosts monthly dog mom meet-ups all over Austin and gives ladies an opportunity to connect with other dog moms and make new friends.
How can we follow you online?
I am at wildwolfepacktreats on both Instagram and Facebook and if you’re looking for a shelter pet who has been at the shelter for too long I’m at @ pawsforyourthoughts on Instagram.
That was my first time out to PAWS and I loved it! I hope to be able to take my boys out to help volunteer in the future.
If you are looking for more ways to volunteer in Dripping Springs then I’d love to be a resource to you! Just text me and I can send you some ideas! 512-569-8480
Thinking about buying or selling a home or property out here? I’m a local, Dripping Springs real estate agent and would love to talk with you about all of your real estate needs! 512-569-8480 or email@example.com