When you mix good food with a good cause it is usually a recipe for success, and a fundraiser hosted by the Melting Pot for the Pet Animal Welfare Society was no exception.

PAWS Around the Neighborhood Coordinator Cissy Tiernan said the idea to hold the fundraiser at the Melting Pot was a result of the owner's support of animals. The Melting Pot, which hosts various charitable events, contacted PAWS about hosting the event.

"We couldn't have been more thrilled when they contacted us about doing a fundraiser," Tiernan said. "The Melting Pot sets a special menu and then donates some of the proceeds to us."

For this year's FONDUE-Raiser, the Melting Pot crafted a menu around the flavors of Latin America. The restaurant donated $10 of the cost of the meal for those who ordered off the special menu to PAWS.

PAWS, a 501 (c) non-profit, doesn't receive any city, state or federal funding and relies entirely on donations to provide care for the animals in the shelter.

"We fund everything through fundraising," Tiernan said. "We do other events around the area because we like to get a lot of exposure."

Tiernan and a group of volunteers set up a table with pictures of animals and a variety of items people can purchase from leashes and postcards to T-shirts and bumper stickers. Over the years, the need for additional revenue has become important as more animals are relinquished by their owners.

Since the economy has weakened, Paws has been taking in more pets because their owners can't afford to keep them or they are moving to a building where pets aren't allowed.

"We have definitely seen an increase in the number of abandoned pets because of economic problems or landlords who don't allow pets," Tiernan said. "There are things we can do to work with landlords to help keep the pets in the home."

Paws has the distinction of being one of the only shelters in the area and because they operate as a no-kill shelter, space is often limited.

"There aren't any other real shelters in the area, but there are more rescue homes. We do help and assist with getting animals out of kill shelters," Tiernan said.

Volunteer Coordinator Lisa DiDonato said this year's fundraiser brought in about $1,000 said.