by Linda Lach

There are many things that make an animal rescue organization successful, but the most important is the team of people who support the rescue.

At the Paws Crossed Animal Rescue in Elmsford, NY, the dedication of the staff and volunteers is what makes this place so inspiring.

We discovered Paws Crossed in July 2020 in the early days of the COVID pandemic when we decided it was time to adopt a dog.

We ended up walking out of Paws Crossed with two dogs – a delightful mother-daughter bonded pair named Mama and Goldie.

I recently went back to Paws Crossed to visit with Julie Potter, the Business and Development Director.

Spending time with Julie touring the center made it clear why Paws Crossed has been able to rescue over 5,000 orphaned pets and establish a huge variety of community programs in the 6+ years that it has been opened to the public.

The mission of Paws Crossed is to “Rescue One By One Until There Are None.”

They are a true no-kill rescue that will only euthanize for terminal illness or irreversible suffering.


Several of the staff at Paws Crossed have been there since it opened its doors in 2016, including Julie; Jennifer Angelucci, their President/CEO; and Scott Salant, their Dog Manager and Lead Behavior Specialist (One of the many interesting things about Jennifer, the President/CEO, is that she was only 23 years old when she began fighting to bring a true no-kill rescue back to Westchester).

Each year, the staff members do videos reflecting back on the past year – it’s really a great way to see how committed these people are to their work.

Check out the videos on their website.


Paws Crossed depends upon a large volunteer program.

During my visit, Julie spoke so highly of the volunteers at Paws Crossed.

She noted with pride that every single dog gets walked at least once every single day – even when the temperatures in Elmsford drop into the single digits.

Julie introduced me to some of the volunteers who were at the facility when I visited.

They remembered Mama and Goldie from over two years ago!

It was a very special feeling to realize that the volunteers really get to know and love the animals they cared for, and I am so grateful to them.

Paws Crossed also has a junior volunteer program.

Junior Volunteer days are fun, exciting opportunities for kids to come to learn about rescue, make crafts, and interact with the pets.


For a relatively new organization, Paws Crossed has a large number of programs:

Community Kibble helps those that cannot afford food and supplies for their pets.

There is a storage container on the property that is open to the public 7 days a week.

There are no requirements, and the program works off of the honor system.

Reading to Rover is an innovative program in which children read to trained and certified therapy dogs.

It is not only fun for the children, but it builds confidence, enthusiasm, and reading proficiency.

The Seniors for Seniors Adoption Program helps bring wonderful senior orphaned pets to loving homes.

The adoption counselors help each of the senior adopters find the perfect match for their lifestyle.

Paws of Healing.

Paws Crossed formed a unique and very educational partnership with Children’s Village (located in Dobbs Ferry, NY), an organization for teens with troubled backgrounds.

This training program collaboration aims to teach teenagers to empathize with and nurture animals through understanding their own emotions and reactions to daily life.

Ability Beyond.

Paws Crossed formed a unique partnership with Ability Beyond, an organization that discovers, builds, and celebrates the ability in all people.

This organization is dedicated to empowering every person to have the opportunity to live, work and thrive as an integral part of their community.

Ability Beyond has become a crucial part of Paws Crossed’s Cat Volunteer Program.

While this program was put on hold during Covid and then had limited space during construction, Paws Crossed is excited to reopen this program very soon.

Putnam Service Dogs will be training rescue dogs to be part of the service dog community.

This is particularly exciting since service dogs have often been purebred dogs, not mixed breeds.

Pets for Patriots works with veterans to pair them with rescue dogs.

Meet the Dogs and Cats

Meet Rowdy

One of my favorite things about the Paws Crossed website is the profiles of available dogs and cats.

You get all the facts, but if you click on the picture of a specific animal, you’ll get a fun, engaging snapshot that gives you a great quick profile of the animal’s personality.

Even though we’re quite content having two dogs right now, my daughter and I love popping onto the website to read about the dogs and cats at Paws Crossed.

I often thought about the time it takes to write these.

But after touring the kennels with Julie, I realized that the staff members truly do get to know each and every dog, which allows them to be able to draft these fun and engaging profiles.

Meet Brigitta

The behavior specialists at Paws Crossed and the volunteers work with the dogs to get over behavioral issues and will work with prospective adopters to make sure they understand how to work with their pets.

And the website features information on their new “Tail Up, Nose Down” enrichment program that encourages dogs to use their innate behaviors, such as playing, chasing, smelling, chewing, and scavenging; to help ensure that dogs are physically, mentally, and emotionally happy and healthy.

The Facility

The facility was donated to Paws Crossed before it opened with the understanding that tremendous work was needed to bring it it to its full potential.

A huge amount of work has already been done, and the organization is now in the biggest part of this renovation – the building of a new adoption center.

When completed, Paws Crossed will have 4 new cat rooms, 3 new meet and greet rooms, a community room, and a new clinic that will allow it to offer low-cost veterinary services to the public.

Julie gave me a sneak peek at the new facilities, and trust me, it’s going to be amazing.

Becoming Part of the Family

During my recent visit, Julie spoke about how an animal rescue shelter is a whole community.

It’s not just the staff and volunteers– it’s the connections with service providers, suppliers, veterinarians, animal experts, and donors that the team members at Paws Crossed have made that help to make the shelter successful.

The vision of Paws Crossed is “ We believe in always working to create a better world for pets and for people as a unified community!” and one of their core values is:

Commitment to our Community: We feel a strong responsibility to our community for always supporting our mission. We develop and cultivate deep relationships that make a positive difference. We truly are a family.

The hashtag, #WeAreFamily, started out as an end-of-year campaign and became the Paws Crossed motto.

The folks at Paws Crossed truly do focus on maintaining these deep relationships.

Recently, Paws Crossed featured a story about rescuing a young mother with seven puppies, and then followed up with a story about the family that adopted this loving mother dog.

This kind of story really captures the love and commitment that is at the heart of Paws Crossed.

Paws Crossed relies on private donations.

Check out their website to learn more about the organization, the team, the dogs, and the ways that you can donate to help – particularly for their capital campaign!

Contact Information:
Rescue One By One Until There Are None
100 Warehouse Lane South
Elmsford, NY 10523

About Linda Lach
Linda LachLinda Lach is a CPA by day and writes by night. When she’s not out hiking with Mama and Goldie in the woods of Connecticut where she lives, she can be found scribbling away on various writing projects or curled up in a chair reading with two dogs at her feet.

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