Jan. 7, 2020 By Kristen Torres
A Forest Hills-based non-profit that walks dogs for the elderly, ill and disabled is expanding its operations into Long Island City.
The organization—called Paw It Forward—was established two years ago and just started offering its dog walking services to Long Island City residents, expanding its reach beyond its current footprint in Rego Park, Forest Hills and the West Village.
Corinne Conover, a Forest Hills resident and dog enthusiast, established the organization nearly two years ago after noticing how hard it was for her late sister to walk her dog while suffering from Leukemia.
“Cancer patients often times go through big surgeries, and can’t tend to their pets,” Conover said, adding that seniors also find it difficult to tend to their pets as they age.
“We provide exercise for the dogs so seniors and the physically disabled can still benefit from that companionship,” Conover said.
Paw It Forward is free a service, and seniors and the disabled can sign up online to have their dogs walked. Conover’s organization currently has 65 volunteers to walk the dogs, with a walker assigned to an household.
“I think that’s where our success comes from,” Conover said. “People are able to build true friendships when it’s just one consistent volunteer coming to walk the dog each week—it creates a connection.”
Conover’s members range in age from 27 to 101-years-old, with most being seniors. She works fulltime running the non-profit, training volunteers and recruiting new members.
“We’re hitting the ground running with our Long Island City expansion,” she said. “We have the volunteers available in the area already, we just need the dogs.”
Residents can sign up to volunteer or become members with Paw It Forward at www.pawitforwardny.com.