Episode 30

Published on:

25th Feb 2021

Scarlett's Story: The Inspiration for an Animal Rescue Program

While watching TV one morning, an interview caught my attention. The story was about a little girl called Scarlett, her family, and how their love for animals led to the development of a special program to rescue animals. Scarlett had cancer, and she spoke about her relationship with her pets and the support they gave her. The story was one of hope and heartbreak, and it showed the power of friendship and love, and the important role that animals play in our lives. 

I am always eager to spread the word when it comes to rescuing animals. After watching the interview, I emailed Robin Chwatco, Scarlett’s mother, and she agreed to talk to me on the podcast. In this episode, Robin shares Scarlett's story. She talks to me about her dream and explains what she did to turn it into a reality. Be sure to tune in today to hear the heart-warming story about Scarlett and her love for animals. You will learn how a child's simple idea led to the development of a program to rescue animals.

Show highlights:

  • Robin explains how Draw for Paws started with a simple idea from Scarlett.
  • Robin explains what she loves about the kid-run non-profit, Draw for Paws.
  • Robin discusses Scarlett’s connection with her own animals.
  • Robin talks about how Scarlett’s dog, Ollie, showed a sixth sense and had lots of empathy when Scarlett got sick.
  • Animals are such a blessing! They give us so much emotional support and keep us motivated when the going gets tough.
  • Robin talks about kids coming up with ideas for initiatives for animals during Covid.
  • Buddy Bowls is an initiative that makes it easier for people to pick up food for their pets from shelters.
  • Robin discusses the community programs she is connected with, that help her with Buddy Bowls.
  • Robin explains what Scarly Squad is, what it does, and how it came about.
  • Scarlett had a mission from a very young age to rescue animals, and she had an impact on many people.
  • Robin explains what Draw for Paws is, how it started, and what it does.
  • Meals on Wheels has been dropping off food for animals too, lately.
  • Robin discusses the portraits that get done for Draw for Paws.
  • Robin talks about the way that people have been inspired and affected by Scarlett’s idea.
  • Robin explains how you can jump in and help. 


For over two decades, Robin Chwatko has developed and implemented communication and branding strategies for a wide range of clients, from startups to restaurants and chefs, politicians, consumer goods, television, arts organizations, and prestigious national and local non-profits. With a passion for philanthropy and community, she is most proud of the two charity organizations she has built with her children, comedy kids, and most recently draw for paws, in honor and memory of her daughter, with a mission to support animal welfare and rescue. 

Links and resources:

Draw for Paws website

Robin on Instagram

Robin on Twitter

Email Robin at scarlysquad@drawforpaws.org 

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About the Podcast

Animal Academy Podcast
Animal Academy Podcast
The stories of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in the Human-Animal connection. Listen as Allison White showcases professionals who share their areas of expertise in an ongoing series of interviews that will help us all understand that WE are the ones that actually end up learning – from the Animals. This is – The Animal Academy Podcast.

About your host

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Allison White

Allison is a licensed clinical social worker and Veterinary Social Worker who has been working in the mental health field for over 28 years. She has been involved in programs that value the human-animal connection including participating in animal-assisted therapy, obedience, agility, conformation, herding and field work with her dogs. When her dogs encountered sports-related injuries, she was introduced to the field of canine rehabilitation and sport’s medicine. When dogs faced chronic health issues, Allison, too, suffered from Compassion Fatigue, which can occur when taking care of loved ones, including animals as well as people. This led Allison to complete extensive training in Compassion Fatigue and then go on to present this information for the benefit of helping others in the health care environment and animal caregivers.
Allison’s passion has been to recognize this human-animal bond and what we can learn from animals, which improves our own quality of life by allowing us to experience their unconditional love, devotion and intelligence. We can all learn from the animals.