Hot Rods Roll Into Town for the Cause for Paws Classic Car Show Benefiting Warwick Animal Shelter

Annual fundraiser benefits dogs and cats looking for forever homes


All things with four wheels will be rolling onto the scene to support four-legged critters this month for the 15th annual Cause for Paws Car Show, organized by the Friends of the Warwick Animal Shelter to benefit homeless pets. From classic cars and hot rods to custom automobiles and fire trucks, the show has something for all enthusiasts to ogle, but even though spectators are sure to be enticed by the shiny Corvettes, “The cause is the reason that people come,” says co-director Ruth Napolitano. “Adoptable dogs from the shelter always join us too – people love to meet them.”

The event helps support the Warwick Animal Shelter efforts caring for and finding homes for local cats and dogs. “The funds are used to provide the shelter animals with the medical care they need – testing, surgeries, medication, special food – and enrichment items,” explains event co-director Dawn Burnham. “Many animals come to the shelter shut down, scared, distrustful... for completely understandable reasons. Toys and treats help the staff and volunteers build bonds with them.”

Along with eye candy for autophiles, the day is backdropped by Cruisin’ Bruce Palmer bringing oldies jams, and fun for the whole family, including vendors, door prizes, gift basket raffles, vendors, and food trucks. Excitement builds in the afternoon with the announcement of the winning vehicles, which participants vote for, earning trophies in the categories of Best of Show, People’s Choice, and Best Club Participation.

Even once the day comes to a close, the shelter can always use support from the public to help pets find their forever homes. “Sharing posts on social media to ensure more people know about the adoptable animals available and lost pets is very helpful,” says Burnham. Napolitano adds, “We have had an Akita named Yuki waiting for a home for over a year! This dog needs a specific type of home and we know it’s out there. By sharing our social media posts, we can help a dog like Yuki find a home.”

Donating time also goes a long way. “The shelter can always use more volunteers, especially during the week, to walk dogs and play with the cats. All you have to do is attend an orientation and then you can make a difference in a homeless animal’s life,” shares Napolitano, who also emphasizes the importance of getting pets spayed or neutered to help mitigate the problem of pet overpopulation.

For folks interested in showing off their wheels, vehicle registration costs $20 per car, with free goody bags and commemorative Dash Plaques to the first 100 registrations. “We are grateful to all the people, businesses, and volunteers who have made it our most successful fundraiser!” says Napolitano. “Last year we had over 250 registered cars and almost 1,000 spectators – it’s a lot of fun, and hard work, for a great cause.”

The Cause for Paws Car Show revs up at 171 Service Place on June 9 (rain date July 21) with car registration 9am-12pm and awards at 2pm.


Shelters Near You

25 places that you could use helping hands this summer, with pets ready to find their forever home!

Animal Rescue Rhode Island, 783-7606

Bristol Animal Shelter, 253-4834

Cranston Animal Control, 464-8700

EGAPL Heart of RI Animal Rescue League, 467-3670

East Providence Animal Control, 435-7675

Exeter Animal Control, 294-2754

Friends of Homeless Animals RI,

Go Fetch Rescue,

Handsome Dan’s Rescue,

Hotel for Homeless Dogs,

Lincoln Animal Control, 333-0950

North Kingstown Animal Control, 295-5579

Paws New England,

Pawtucket Animal Shelter, 722-4243

Providence Animal Control, 243-6040

Providence Animal Rescue League, 421-1399

Rhode Home Rescue,

RISPCA, 438-8150

Potter League, 846-8276

Save One Soul Animal Rescue League,

Small Dog Rescue of NE,

Vintage Pet Rescue,

Warwick Animal Shelter, 468-4377

West Warwick Animal Shelter, 615-3388

Westerly Animal Shelter, 584-7941



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