FRESNO, CA - The breezy Saturday morning on Sept. 28, 2019 was brimmed with tiny dogs playing and running behind a booth at the Annual September Spectacular Resource Fair at the Radio Park, Fresno.
Tiny Paws Fresno is a 100% donation and volunteer-based non-profit dedicated to hosting small dog socials to assist in facilitating the mental and physical stimulation of small dogs, under 35 lbs.
“We emphasize the benefits of health and wellness in the community,” said Cinnamon Grooms, founder, and CEO of Tiny Paws Fresno. “We promote the value of owning a dog by creating fun and educational experiences with dogs and helping current owners become better owners.”
One of the main goals of Tiny Paws Fresno is to strengthen the bond and communication between pet owners and their fur kids. “If fur parents get a better understanding of how to communicate with their dog, we would have less dog abandonment, less dog punishment, less dogs returning to the shelters,” Cinnamon pointed out.
The founders are certified canine communicators. Therefore, they detect problematic behaviors such as mental trauma, and advice fur parents on how to correct problems at home with “patience and love.”
The social playgroup started as a promise to give the best life to Titan, Cinnamon's dog, who was fighting for his life with pneumonia, in 2010. Titan recovered, and as promised, Cinnamon started a social playgroup in 2013 with only five members. It transformed into a non-profit in 2018 and currently has more than 1,967 online members.
Deuna Cartier, CFO of Tiny Paws Fresno, and Cinnamon have been prime movers of the organization for the past six years. “I give my time to the community to help Fresno with small dogs and give them an opportunity to a great life,” said Cartier with sparks in her eyes.
Although Tiny Paws Fresno is dog-centric, it holds various events to help seniors, retired veterans, and youth, with their mental health. Tiny Paws Fresno has teamed up with Promesa Behavioral Health, Cedarbrook Memory Care, Kingston Bay Senior Living, CalVet Retired Veterans, and Veterans Memorial to “bring joy, happiness, and comfort” to people when they meet the fur kids.
The organization has not only helped the dogs but their parents as well. “I like being a part of this group,” said Kassandra Klein,” a new member. “I think it is important that dogs interact with other dogs to improve their and our personalities.”
The social group has given opportunities to unwell dogs to get a shot at life. Cinnamon stated that one dog joined the organization while he was in a wheelchair, he pushed himself to play as the dog pack was strong. The group made him healthy to not only walk but also jog later on.
“[Tiny Paws Fresno] gives fur parents a better understanding of how to be the alpha leader, care for their dogs’ mental and physical state,” Cinnamon explained.
In the next five years, Tiny Paws Fresno will build a resource center so that dogs have a permanent playing area segregated for different sized dogs. Moreover, the resource center will be a place for fur parents to get information and education. “I am already there; I see my desk, I see everything working, people volunteering, and dogs having fun.
In the meantime, the organization has updated its website, tinypawsfresno.org, with resourceful information to assist dog parents in the Fresno community. Tiny Paws Fresno is looking for partnership opportunities with other dog related nonprofits and businesses for sponsorships and dual benefits.
“It is time to let people know we exist. We are here, and we are establishing more.”
By Noor Sabharwal
Saturday September 28, 2019