James Mitolo, a junior at John F. Kennedy Catholic School, founded Paws With a Cause because he wanted to create an organization so he and his fellow students could help animals in the Mahoning Valley.
James, an animal lover, started the organization with student John Nader and Joy Huber, faculty adviser.
Paws With a Cause has 40 members. Its mission is to provide a better life for animals in need by volunteering at animal rescues, educating the community about responsible pet ownership and donating items to agencies that care for homeless, sick and needy animals.
James has one rescue dog, Bexx, and has fostered 10 others. He believes in fostering pets and values his job as a bridge for those pets to find a permanent family.
He credits his father for being supportive of his passion and appreciates his father’s willingness to allow him to bring in dogs in various states of need.
Paws With a Cause provides a volunteer partnership with animal rescue leagues in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.
“It is wonderful to see our students take initiative and work on a project that they are passionate about,” said Jillian Phillips, director of communications and advancement at JFK.