The Celebrities of P.A.W.S.

An exclusive interview with Andy the Rottweiler

Andy bathed in the sunlight streaming through the windows of Boynton. The sunrays made his trademark

Photographer: Kellen Renstrom

Photographer: Kellen Renstrom

black and rust fur coat look even more luxurious. This particular Rottweiler is no normal dog. He works with the program Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS). PAWS is an organization made up of registered therapy dogs, bunnies, ponies—and even chickens—who, along with their human managers, are on a mission to de-stress the masses. Andy’s human, Seth Williams, recounted Andy’s rescue story as the massive Rottweiler basked in the undivided attention of six stressed liberal arts students.

“We’re guessing that he’s about six and a half or seven,” Williams said of Andy. “He’s a pure Rottweiler, three generations back.”

Andy was rescued from a ranch in Texas five years ago, where he and 225 fellow Rottweilers were saved from a severe hoarding situation involving dogs, horses, and exotic animals such as Bengal tigers. The rescue was featured on “Houston Animal Cops” in an episode dubbed “Frozen.” As a result of the publicity, the rescue was a major success, and 200 of the 225 dogs were adopted.

When Williams adopted Andy in 2011, Andy weighed only 70 pounds—a good 40 pounds underweight.

Andy was rescued from a ranch in Texas five years ago, where he and 225 fellow Rottweilers were saved from a severe hoarding situation involving dogs, horses, and exotic animals such as Bengal tigers.

Despite his struggles early in life, Andy has recovered quickly. Seth recounts Andy’s recuperation with pride, noting how, despite his near-complete isolation from humans for the first two years of his life, Andy was socially inclined after just a few months with his new family.

Because of a history working with police, Rottweilers are often characterized as standoffish or violent, a stereotype that Andy quashes every day on the job. With an easy-going personality and an enthusiasm for a good belly rub, Andy surprises previously misled fans with one of the mellowest demeanors PAWS has to offer.

Because of a history working with police, Rottweilers are often characterized as standoffish or violent, a stereotype that Andy quashes every day on the job.

Williams said that this softhearted dog is especially helpful when PAWS visits centers for at-risk youth. “The students have often been misjudged, so I think that they really connect with Andy,” Williams said.

Students can come meet Andy and his fellow professionals for some cuddle-themed interactions weekly. See the schedule here.