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Benefitting NEAHS Through Pints for Paws
by Audrey Poff, photo by Kayla Broadway

Sarah Reeves was attending a concert in Memphis last year when she encountered a nonprofit group that rescues and rehabilitates dogs from the streets of Memphis. Inspired by the organization’s effort to help homeless animals, Reeves returned to Jonesboro and began organizing an event that would benefit the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society each month.

“Around Christmas time, I had gone to a Lucero concert in Memphis,” said Reeves, regional manager for Skinny J’s. “Next to the merchandise table was a group called Streetdog Foundation. They had a Christmas tree set up with some photos of their rescues and some specific services they needed. Long story short, instead of buying a Lucero T-shirt, I bought a vet treatment for a cute little pit bull named Carmen.

“After leaving there, thinking about Carmen for a few weeks and determining that I can’t bring another dog into my little apartment, I decided to reach out to some friends of mine that are very much animal people to try to put the two events together in some way. After a few get-togethers, we now have Pints for Paws.”

In addition to Reeves, NEAHS Board Members Maura Ashton and Becky Wilson helped get the fundraiser off the ground. Since then, organizers have had numerous offers from people in the community who are willing to help.

Skinny J’s in Downtown Jonesboro serves as the host of Pints for Paws. With the help of staff and volunteers, the restaurant features a different brewery during the event, sells event-themed T-shirts and makes it easy for customers to purchase supplies for NEAHS animals or pay for treatment or services for rescued animals – all while enjoying a night out.

“We do a little bit of coordinating between the breweries, but all in all, we just give this event a place to happen,” said Reeves.  
Reeves said the goal of Pints for Paws is to help meet the needs of NEAHS rescues.

“If we can get some specific things taken care of for these animals, they can use their other donations to fill in the gaps or use them for emergency rescues or just general upkeep for the shelter to make sure that the animals there are getting more than the bare minimum,” she said.  “A secondary hope is to get the word out about NEAHS. I think that people may not know what to donate or that any donation, whether it be $5, or $50 or $500, is a great one. We’ve had some folks just come over and give the ones in their pocket, and that still makes a huge difference.”

To date, Reeves says Pints for Paws has raised $3,660 from the January and February events.

“The plan is to keep it going,” said Reeves. “We’ve already got breweries hopping on board for future months and wanting to do things for the Humane Society themselves. With that kind of enthusiasm, we won’t stop.”

Organizers already have ideas to grow the effort.

“We’ve got some wild ideas for the future,” said Reeves. “We would like to see a Pints for Paws Fest – something to bring all of these breweries together and raise a whole lot of money for the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society in one swoop.”

The next Pints for Paws benefit will be held March 15 from 5-8 p.m. at Skinny J’s and will feature the Lagunitas Brewing Company.

“They are a very pet-friendly beer company that has a lot of hoppy beers, and they’re excited to be involved with the event,” said Reeves. “We’re going to have plenty of T-shirts and Pints for Paws goodies to sell and raffle off this month.”

For Reeves, a small dynamo with a passion for helping abandoned animals, the March event comes with a personal goal of raising $2,000 in donations for NEAHS.

For more information on upcoming Pints for Paws events, follow Skinny J’s on Facebook.