Paws Project Encourages Compassion In Children

Keleen Mullen with her children and their pup Fiona
[left to right] Dionna, Drea, Kelly, Fiona

Keleen Leathers, Inc. created the Paws Project program in 2014. It began as an inkling of an idea from Keleen Mullen, the daughter of owner Rick Mullen, and evolved into a brilliant show of compassion and true love of animals. Paws Project focuses on leathers that are perfect for settings with children, dogs, and/or high traffic. This program addresses the reality of life and couples it with the beauty and efficiency of leather. Donations are made from every Paws Project approved sale to help pet rescue organizations.

Nearly every employee at KL has a pet and understands what it’s like to adopt/rescue animals. We all have unconditional love for our furry pals, so this cause is near and dear to each of us. Even Dionna Damato, daughter to Keleen Mullen, has been influenced by her mother’s activism in the pet rescue community, as well as by Paws Project. She had a few things to say regarding both.


Interview with Dionna Damato

What do you know about rescue?
I know that rescue can save all sorts of animals.

What have you done to be a part of rescue?
I help my mom and dad take care of all the animals we rescue.

How did saving Fiona make you feel?
Saving Fiona made me feel happy and excited.

What do you think might have happened to Fiona without rescue?
I think she could have died if we didn’t rescue her.

Will you be a part of rescue when you are old enough? How?
Yes! I will start out fostering and then I will adopt.  It is both a lot of work to foster but it can also be easy.
The hard part about it is that you have to know when to feed them and when to let them out.  You have to help them when they are scared.
The easy part is probably when they are laying down and sleeping.  The hardest part of all is saying goodbye when they get adopted.
My mom cries everytime one of our fosters leaves and gets adopted.
She cries and says “it’s OK, it’s a good thing”.


As a family owned company, children and pets stop by to visit often. We’ve found that Fiona, the face of Paws Project, influences these children to behave in such a compassionate and kind manner. As you read above, there is an understanding that grows between us and our pets, which leads to greater things! Dionna may well grow up to become a Veterinarian or a fostering “mom” to homeless pets.

Today, we’ll be making a donation to IDR+, located here in Illinois. Several of our employees, including Keleen, has adopted from this organization and actively supports their mission. We sincerely thank our friends at IDR+ for helping homeless pets.

Thank you for taking time to read this post. We will continue to be there for your family, your pets, and all your leather needs.

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