Erica Goetzman Elected President of Pause 4 Paws, 501c3

March 2014

Erica Goetzman was elected President of Pause 4 Paws, 501c3, a non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness and funds to help dogs and cats in need.  Erica is founding member of the organization and has been on the Board of Directors for over 4 years.  Pause 4 Paws collaborates with local non-profit animal rescues to provide medical care, food, supplies, and shelter to dogs and cats in need.

Each year, this organization hosts two events; this year’s first event will be  May 17th, 2014 at the Minnetonka BMW.  The intent is to invite the community and encourage them to adopt the many dogs and cats  from  the 18 beneficiary organizations in attendance that Pause 4 Paws supports.   According to the Humane Society of the United States, about 3 million healthy, adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized each year due.  Over-population and lack of spay and neuter programs are largely to blame.

“These animals could have had a chance if more people adopted rather than purchased from breeders,” Goetzman said.

Goetzman is also a supporter of The Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill – S.F. 36, which will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee shortly.   There is no State law to license, inspect, or regulate commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota.  This often results in seriously inhumane breeding practices.  Minnesota is one of the top producers of puppies in the United States with some of the largest breeding kennels in the nation, and  kittens are also mass-produced in Minnesota.  Many of these animals suffer from constant confinement and neglect, have deformed paws from the stacked crates, and have fleas and worms or are otherwise very ill.   Goetzman hopes this Bill will help address this problem by requiring breeders to gain a license, allow inspections, and impose penalties to those who violate the law.

“This bill is important because there are dogs and cats who are forced to live in deplorable and sub-standard conditions with no oversight,” she said.


Pause 4 Paws is also currently planning their Fall 2014 fundraiser, held in downtown Minneapolis to continue to serve Minnesota dogs and cats in need.  For more information or to make a donation, visit  “The need is always greater than the available resources,” Goetzman stated.

Erica Goetzman Receives 2014 Cargill Community Hero Award

Erica Goetzman is the recipient of the 2014 Cargill Community Hero Award for her work with the non-profit organization, Pause 4 Paws, 501c3.  Cargill’s CEO, David MacLennan, recognized Erica’s work in the community on behalf of dogs and cats. Pause 4 Paw’s main mission is to raise money to help support local animal rescues.  Erica serves on the Board of Directors writing grants, fostering animals, supporting breeder bill legislation, and raising awareness about the problems Minnesota faces in this area.

Pause 4 Paws is a unique organization that recognizes the acute financial need and resource deficiency that Minnesota dog and cat animal rescues face.  They help support 18 organizations today by holding fundraisers and by the generous donations of corporations and individuals.  Due to the limited number of human resources helping these animals and the smaller scale of the rescues in the “field” saving lives, their ability to spend time fundraising is difficult; they are focused on getting dogs and cats into safe environments and medical care.  This is where Pause 4 Paws shines.  These 18 animal rescues send a request for money or resources and Pause 4 Paws gives what they have available.

The organizations that Erica’s non-profit works with span the entire state of Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, some in very rural areas with little or no veterinary care for over 50 miles.  Many of the dogs and cats need food, water, shelter, and urgent medical care.  When they are picked up by the city, they may be taken to impound, where they wait for their owner to pick them up, and if they do not show, one of the animal rescues comes to care for them and assesses what the immediate needs are.  These animal rescues are run by volunteers who swoop in to save lives.  Some of the rescue organizations are located in such remote areas and getting food and supplies to the many animals they care for is a full time job in itself.  And expensive. Erica recently partnered with a transportation company who agreed to deliver truck loads of food and supplies anywhere in Minnesota free of charge.  This service is beneficial to organizations whose truck broke down, or who do not have time to drive and then carry hundreds of pounds of food into their property.  With this service, food is delivered to the rescue’s doorstep. Pause 4 Paws receives more requests for help and resources than they have resources available unfortunately.  If you would like to donate financially please visit their website

4 Course Dinner with Wine Pairings for Pause 4 Paws, 501c3

Table Scape Erica Goetzman served dinner.

Table Scape Erica Goetzman served dinner.

The generous individual who bid on this live auction item at the Pause 4 Paws fundraiser invited 12 Minneapolis professionals to dinner at her home.  Erica Goetzman had the privilege of planning, preparing, and serving a wonderful menu at this gorgeous table scape, all in the name of saving the lives of more dogs and cats in need.   The guests wanted a Latin inspired menu, and Erica created the following:

Appetizer: Belgian endive wreath with blue cheese, pomegranates, and caramelized onion walnut balsamic reduction.
1st Course
Masa rounds with honey goat cheese, cumin scented avocado cream, and pepper gremolata with champagne vinaigrette and balsamic reduction
2nd Course
Argentinian salpicon of celery, Peruvian potatoes, queso fresco, and roasted walnuts
3rd Course
Peruvian red quinoa with lime marinated chicken and parmesan white wine cream sauce, aji amarillo dots, and kiwicha snowflakes
4th Course
Tres leches cake with chocolate brittle bottom and whipped cream.

Winter Wear for Dogs

My dogs are a bit sensitive to the elements. One refuses to set foot on a cold surface, and the other, the snow baby, likes to be warm, otherwise I have to carry her for our walk. I like to put a T-Shirt on them and then a heavier polyester sweater so they have a bit of protection. They can get frost bite pretty fast if they get too cold. I rescued a cat one time who was missing its ears because they froze off. Here is a good website for clothes and other high quality products:

Dog Harnesses

Graduation 026Since I work in the animal welfare industry I tend to notice how the community cares for their animals. I am always really concerned when I see people who have chains or collars around the necks of little puppies that are jumping around and running…and choking. My puppies always used harnesses so their necks and trachea would be protected. It seems so inhumane to put a chain or collar around such a tiny little neck.  In case anyone would like a recommendation on a good product I have used, visit  These are great harnesses that are “step in”, so your dog gets guided by the chest; not the neck. My dogs even bring their legs up to step in themselves, they are so used to the routine. It’s such a better alternative to harming a puppy or dog’s neck and tissue.

Fido the Foodie

I’m a big advocate of making your own dog food, with the proper nutrition and age-appropriate content. When my puppies were little, I’d make rice stew with papaya for enzymes, yogurt, eggs, and pureed kale and pureed chicken or beef. Everything was blended so it was easy for them to digest. I bought them grain-free and high nutrient dog food but they usually didn’t eat much of it. I was glad when they would have a little though, in case there were nutrients they didn’t get from their homemade stew. My dogs are not overweight and they’ve never been sick. They have been really happy on their homemade diet. I don’t understand why people are so against table scraps or “people food”. If the food doesn’t contain anything harmful (chocolate, raisins, grapes, onion, garlic, potato skins, or anything hard to digest like water chestnuts or celery), I see no reason why you wouldn’t want to share the highest quality food with your dogs. They need fresh fruits and veggies as much as we do. Why not give them the best? Here is a website that is helpful if you’re considering feeding Fido the Foodie:

Dogs Need Treats Too!

Pretty sure they behaved the whole day and should be rewarded endlessly for having 2 cute ears and a waggy tail.  My dogs get some non-commercial homemade treats like:  oven dried chicken meat, dried cranberries, cooked bits of meat, hard boiled egg pieces, cooked spinach, rice balls with olive oil, and just about anything else I find that they might like.  I have one dog that turns her nose up at swiss cheese and any salami or sausage, if you can believe it.  The other one would gladly gobble those things up.  I try to give them their preferences and mix in a little something healthy, like a little piece of spinach or dried blueberry in their chicken piece.  Just like making their dog food, it’s sometimes way more healthy to make their treats too.