Who we are
Paws and Stripes was founded in Rio Rancho in 2010 by Lindsey Kay. Lindsey was motivated by her passion for dogs, love of her country and those who have sacrificed so much to protect it. A veteran family member of Lindsey’s suffering from PTSD and TBI motivated her to research multiple organizations, but was unable to pay for service dogs due to the high cost. This inspired the inception of an organization dedicated to providing service dogs at no cost to veterans in order to fill this critical unmet need for veterans.
In 2010, Paws and Stripes graduated their first team. By 2012, Paws and Stripes officially integrated a mental health component to its training programs. Since inception almost 10 years ago, Paws and Stripes has served veterans, rescued and rehabilitated shelter dogs as service dogs and refined its mental health programming.
In the early days, Paws and Stripes received press and recognition for the unique and much needed programming from Time Magazine, Bark Magazine, Lisa Ling’s Our America, Stephen Colbert's Dream Fund, and Tractor Supply Magazine in addition to presenting internationally in Croatia and nationally in New York and at Yale University. In 2014, A&E's docu-series, Dogs of War, featured 5 episodes about Paws and Stripes.
In 2017, Paws and Stripes officially moved into a new facility, a generous donation to further its mission in Albuquerque.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dathan Weems, J.D.
Dathan Weems Law Firm
Simons Consulting Services
Roger Lily, CPA
Director, ClitonLarsonAllen LLP
Sr. Corporate Communications Rep., PNM
Phil Padrid, DVM
Director of Specialty Services, VCA Hospitals
Blue Advantage Partners
Mortgage Advisor, Finance of America
Wealth Advisor, New Mexico Bank & Trust
THE PAWS TEAM
Ten years ago, Paws and Stripes was born out of a need to care for our military veterans who were living with the deep scars of war as a result of their service to our country. Many came to us “at the end of their rope,” feeling unheard and left behind. We listened. We took action to see that this organization might make a difference in their lives.
Today, every single one of us is being called to listen, again. We have never tolerated racism, sexism, xenophobia, abuse, homophobia, or any sort of discrimination. Today, we join the chorus speaking out against these evils. We condemn them. We demand better of ourselves and of our country.
BLACK LIVES MATTER. This is not a political issue, it is unequivocally a human rights issue, and it has been dismissed, and even ignored, for far too long.
Paws and Stripes is a human services organization and we stand with many others across the globe against systemic racism, against injustice, and against inequality. As one of our veterans said this week, “We all bleed red.” Our veterans donned a uniform each day in service to this country and they were unified. In the heat of battle, color barriers do not exist. These veterans have bled and broken their bodies for a deep love of America and the freedoms to which we are all entitled. Now is not the time to divide. Now is the time to come together, to fight for our country, and stand up for every American person of color.
Paws and Stripes is listening. We will not shy away from uncomfortable conversations. We will never stop our work to understand the struggles other people endure. We know it will take more from all of us, and so we are committing to:
Bolster our diversity and inclusivity training for staff and volunteers.
Continue to hold space with internal forums discussing racism, implicit and explicit.
Coordinate meetings with military veterans of color and the extended community to hear their truths, and ask, humbly, what we can do better.
We will do our part to cultivate change around us and help usher in a better world. Paws and Stripes holds to its principle, now as much as ever, that it is only through kindness, love, empathy, unity, and integrity that real healing and real change can begin.
We see you.
We hear you.
We love you.
WE STAND WITH YOU.