Man brings passion to pups as he feeds dogs belonging to the homeless

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018
San Francisco man raising money to feed pets of homeless people
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A San Francisco man started a nonprofit dedicated to feeding and taking care of the four-legged companions of the homeless in San Francisco. Now his community has nominated him to be the GoFundMe local hero of the month.

SAN FRANCISCO, California -- Pushing a red four-wheeled wire cart down the streets of San Francisco's Mission, Paul Crowell is on a mission.

"I have a friend over here on the corner," he points.

When we arrive under a highway underpass, we find a small homeless encampment. One of two velvety grey Pitbulls rushes out of a tattered tent, wagging its tail, thrilled to see what Paul has brought this time.

VIDEO:This man's passion for helping homeless dogs in SF will inspire you

"Awww, Mommy is the first dog I took care of out here, she's my queen!" Paul beams as he feeds Mommy treats from a small bag attached to his hip.

Five years ago, Mommy the Pitbull ignited something special within Paul. At the time, he was working at a dog boarding facility and couldn't wrap his head around the amount of dog food that was wasted each day.

"A lot of times when dogs go to board they are nervous and don't eat their food. They would try and re-feed it to other dogs but then it would get tossed. I would just start collecting up that food that was getting tossed and seeing all the dogs around here...I just became known as the doggie food man!"

Mommy is just one of about 40 dogs, belonging to the homeless he meets along his route. After five years of dedication to distributing food and using his own money to provide medical services to these animals, he knows every dog and their owner by name. Paul considered these people and their dogs, his family.

Clyde Martinez is one of the people Paul provides aid to. They've known each other for about a year.

"Oh, he's just great. We love him down here and everybody does. Without him, I don't know what I would do. I just have one dog and Paul's been helping me since she was a baby. She's almost a year now and we can't afford to buy dog food."

When asked about Paul's love of animals and his selflessness, he explains his passion started as a child.

"I was just an off and kind of weird kid. Other kids were mean and bullied me a lot. So I just turned to my animals and I was just out in the woods all the time as a little kid with the animals or with my dogs."

This month, crowdfunding site GoFundMe chose Project Open Paw out of hundreds of thousands of campaigns to be featured as a "hero." Getting featured as a hero has helped Paul raise more than a hundred thousand dollars which is more than enough to expand Project Open Paw across the Bay Area. And someday make an even bigger change around the country.

Since Paul is currently working out of his bedroom, his dream is to raise enough money to open a facility in San Francisco to not only feed but care for these animals of the homeless and animals with nowhere to go when their owners are incarcerated.

"I just want to inspire people that if they have a vision and a passion and a dream to follow it. Anybody can be a hero, just dedicate and follow your heart. I wanted to inspire people because I did this with nothing...I was a little man who made very little money but working with dogs you get paid in doggy love."

GoFundMe set up a site for him and it now has over $100,000. You can make a donation here.

Here's more about Project Open Paw.