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2015 Calendar Compeition (The Midlands First Responders Edition)

Introducing our 2015 Calendar Contest featuring the Midlands’ finest!

Pawmetto Lifeline has partnered with Richland County, and Lexington County for a new and exciting calendar competition! First responders (fire fighters, police officers, sheriff’s department, 911 dispatchers, and emergency medical service personnel) will be competing for your donations and a chance to be featured in our upcoming calendar.

Our first wave of participants have registered!  The top 12 top fundraisers will join a furry friend (more information on that competition soon!) and have their photos professionally taken for an exciting and fun calendar the whole family will enjoy in 2015!

Have a first responder you think could make the cut? Sign them up here!

To see our current contestants and vote for your favorites, click here!

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Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Kitten (or TWO)

We are smack-dab in the middle of “Kitten Season”. If you have been on the fence about getting some new furry family members, let us help!
TOP 10 Reasons to Adopt Kittens!

1. They are playful
Kittens are very playful and can be a great way to get the family up and moving with those special kitten toys or they amazing red lasers!

2. They are SUPER cuddly!
After playtime, kittens love a good cuddle. And unlike those 100-pound pooches that think they belong on your lap, a kitten actually fits there quite nicely. Plus, they are warm and fuzzy – so purr-fectly suited for snuggling.

3. They Bathe Themselves
And it’s a good thing, too. Have you ever tried to get a kitten into water? Not fun if you prefer your skin scratch-free. So they bathe themselves and leave you with one less chore – it’s a win-win situation for all concerned

4. You Won’t Need To Housebreak Them
In addition to bathing themselves, kittens come into your life pretty much potty trained. You set up a litter box and with very little instruction they figure out how to use it almost naturally. Adopting a kitten means never having to worry about getting home late and realizing you still need to go out into the cold, cold darkness.

5. They’re Avid Hunters
Not a big fan of lizards, mice, or giant beetles? Adopt a kitten! Kittens turn into cats that are skilled hunters that will help keep the bug population down in your home, as well as those hair-raising lizards, mice, moths, dust bunnies — and those alarming red laser pointers.

6. They are GREAT entertainers.
Kittens are more than capable of entertaining themselves with toys, boxes, drawers and the like. Give a kitten a window (and window sill to perch on) and she’ll spend hours watching the goings-on in the Great Outdoors as she plots taking over the world and generally enjoys making the peons on the other side of the glass jealous of her glorious coat and pretty whiskers.

7. Perfect Couch Potato Companion
When a kitten becomes a cat they spend about 15 or so hours a day sleeping. This means they will never make you feel guilty when you laze about on the couch eating a tub of ice cream and watching TV all day. In fact, a cat would love to just veg out with you. It’s a built built-in excuse to be lazy. Just tell the haters, “I’m spending some quality time with my cat.”

8. They’re Awesome
You can’t argue with the facts. A kitten is pretty much the most popular pet in the world (there are statistically more cats in U.S. households than dogs). They’re adorable, loving, easy companions that make you super happy (and healthy).

9. You’re Saving a Life
According to The HSUS, somewhere between 6 to 8 million cats and dogs are taken in by animal shelters each year in the U.S., and 3 to 4 million of those cats and dogs are eventually euthanized. By adopting a kitten today, you could be single-handedly saving a life. That’s a pretty big deal. Better yet, adopt two!

10. They’re Saving Your Life
As if saving a life wasn’t a good enough reason to adopt a kitten, keep in mind that your potential new kitten could save your life, too. Having a pet has been attributed to significantly lowering blood pressure, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. Plus, the mere act of stroking a cat for a few minutes has been shown to release “feel good” endorphins in the brain.

Check our our selection of kittens available! And right now, between July 11th and July 27th, take advantage of our $75 Kitten Adoption deal! Your kitten will come to you up-to-date on vaccinations, microchipped, and spayed/neutered! All for just $75! Visit us at 1275 Bower Parkway or look line at pawmettolifeline.org!

by: DeeAnn Jones, Director of Adoptions, Pawmetto Lifeline

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Investing in a Pet

I come from a business school background. I think of things in terms of how I was taught. Every time you put resources into something, you are investing, and you are expecting a return on your investment.

But how does this work when the return is not tangible?

When you adopt a pet, you begin your investment, but what are you looking to receive? Well, that is simple, unconditional love. For pet owners like myself, we know that owning a pet has no tangible return, unless you count new patterns on your furniture that look suspiciously like claw marks, or maybe a wet knee when you eat a snack in front of the TV…

What a pet DOES provide you as the return for your investment are things that mean more than what you can possess or quantify. They provide love, entertainment, and affection beyond anything you could ever expect from something that can be bought.

When you invest in a pet, you are investing in yourself; in YOUR future. Having a pet can improve your overall physical and mental health, as well as providing you with a companion that will always be there for you.

So after the assessment of the investment, I have come to one conclusion. Investing in a pet carries limited risk and high returns. All in all, a good call! Adopt one today and get kisses and cuddles as your first ROI!

by: Taylor Wilson, Director of Marketing & Communications, Pawmetto Lifeline

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What should you do if you find a kitten or litter of kittens?

When you find a litter of kittens, there are many things you need to ask yourself to ensure that your actions do not harm the kittens or put them in a worse situation than that which you found them.

Question 1: Is the kitten(s) visibly sick or injured? If yes, you need to get them immediate medical treatment, so take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If they are not visibly sick or injured, you must ask yourself more questions before determining the best course of action.

Question 2: What does the kitten look like? This is an important question because the age of the kitten will be the determining factor in what your next actions look like. Please see the infographic below for a full description of the age ranges and next steps.

The final question that you need to ask yourself is, “Are you fully prepared to take responsibility for this kitten(s)?” This means keeping your rescue until the pet is safely re-homed or in a facility that will ensure it is adopted to a responsible family. This may mean you will be responsible for intake fees or need to foster the pet for two to three weeks. If you are ready to take on these responsibilities and the pet is at least 4-6 weeks old as mentioned in the above infographic, you can start your rescue.

IF THE KITTENS ARE NOT AT LEAST 4 WEEKS OLD, TAKING THEM AWAY FROM THEIR MOTHER WILL DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. PLEASE LEAVE THE KITTENS ALONE UNTIL THEN.

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NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN THE CAR UNATTENDED

FACT, even on a relatively cool day, say around 72 degrees, a car’s temperature will rise approximately 40 degrees in just 60 minutes. That means your car’s temperature, even in the spring, can reach upwards of 112 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a standard South Carolina summer, the average daily temperatures reach well into the mid-nineties. So an increase in just 30 minutes, it would be well over 110 degrees inside the car, even with the windows cracked two inches (click on the YouTube video below).

How Hot Does it Get in a Parked Car Dr Ernie Ward

As if that temperature isn’t hard enough to imagine, even for those coming from the Famously Hot Columbia, SC, imagine you are sitting in a car that hot with a fur coat on, nothing to drink, and with no air flow.  That is what your pet is enduring when you leave them in the car.

Even with the windows cracked, this is not sufficient enough to prevent heat stroke in your pet. Heat stroke comes on quickly and is very difficult to stop once a pet has begun to overheat.

In the shade, because of the way a car is made, the core temperature can continue to rise, especially on a hot day, which again, we are famous for in the Midlands, to almost 120 degrees.

If you don’t have to take your pet with you to run errands, please leave them at home if they will spend any time in the car unattended. Leaving the air conditioning on in the car is an alternative if having your pet with you cannot be prevented, but it doesn’t guarantee their safety. When a car is running, the risk of having it fall into gear is much higher, especially with a curious fur –baby bouncing around, waiting for their owners to return.

Don’t risk your pet’s life and your possible heartache over quick errands. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET IN YOUR CAR UNATTENDED!

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May’s “Back in Black” Business Was Booming!

Thank you for making Back in Black a success! In just the month of May, 32 black animals found their forever homes!

We are so happy that these great dogs and cats who normally may have been passed over found their families that we are extending our Back in Black promotion for the month of June for all of our super-cute and shimmering kittens under six months old!

For just $100 (a discount of $50 per kitten), approved adoptive homes can take home one of our gorgeous black kittens. All kittens will have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated as age-appropriate, micro-chipped, dewormed, and examined by our outstanding medical team. All they need now is you!

May 2014 Back in Black Success Stories

Cats: Captain, Chara, James, Jessebelle, Jon, Miller, Morris, Tally

Dogs: Anya, Bear, Benjamin, Bunni, Chop, Clementine, Coral, Daffi, Daisy, Darren, Gavin, Jensen, Khloe, Luka, Mikal, Mr. Fox, Nell, Nevaeh, Prim, Roscoe, Savannah, Terrance, Wilma, Xena

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How YOU can make a difference to stop puppy mills!

Pawmetto Lifeline believes that all pets, homeless or otherwise, deserve to be treated with care and consideration. The practices of mass breeding (puppy mills and backyard breeder), with its squalid conditions and inhumane treatment of animals is in direct opposition to those beliefs. It is because of this fact that Pawmetto Lifeline encourages anyone looking for a new family pet to first start at the local animal adoption organizations in the Midlands. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that at municipal shelters, one in four dogs is a purebred.   If you are looking for a specific breed, a rescue exists for virtually every breed of dog or cat. And please remember that there are more than 14,000 homeless pets dying each year in our local Midlands municipal shelters that could benefit from having a home. Getting a dog or cat from a local rescue helps save lives AND prevents puppy mills from gaining momentum.

We know that not all breeders are puppy mills. There are reputable breeders for many breeds, but puppy mills comprise a large sector of specific breeds sold online or through boutique pet stores. To be sure you are not purchasing a companion pet raised in these awful conditions and to ensure that your purchase will not continue to support the practice, be very careful about how you choose your breeder. Visits to the facilities where the puppies are raised can help put your mind at rest.

Puppy mills are designed to reap the maximum financial benefit for minimum effort or care. They cruelly disregard the emotional, social and physical health of the animals. These dogs spend their time in wire cages, and for a breeding dog, that means life. The poor conditions that these pets are exposed to and forced to live with can lead to severe trauma that can cause physical or behavioral issues, both for them and the puppies they produce.


To provide a more concrete example of how dangerous puppy mills and backyard breeders can truly be, let’s look at the story of Polly. Polly is the face of backyard breeding/puppy mills. She and five other dogs were surrendered to Pawmetto Lifeline this week from a couple who had decided they could breed her for profit. Her worth was in her ability to provide them with puppies, nothing else. Sadly for Polly, this meant she went without even the most basic medical care. The most evident example of this neglect is her back left leg, where she got caught in some twine, which was left so long it became embedded in her leg tissue. Now her paw dangles painfully away from her leg with open sores around the joint.


Polly needs surgery to amputate her leg before infection sets in, risking her life.  She is currently being treated by Pawmetto Lifeline, but we need help to cover her intensive medical care. If you want to donate to Polly, you an do so here.

To ensure you do not support puppy mill operations in the community, find your new family pet at an adoption organization and decide to adopt, not buy. If you DO decide to purchase a pet, please be sure you research the breeder very carefully. Breeders should consist only of experts who are trying to perfect the genetics of a specific breed and are often professionally showing those breeds on the AKC circuit.  A professional breeder will also require that the offspring of their animal be altered by six months of age in order to ensure that the genetics of their breed are not compromised.  Remember that the only way to stop puppy mills is to stop buying their puppies and to decrease the demand for this type of cruelty.

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Senior Pets at Pawmetto Lifeline

When a pet ends up at a shelter at the ripe age of ten or eleven years old, we have to ask ourselves, “Where has this dog been?” Obviously someone loved this pet and kept it for ten years or more. Why now have they lost their home and their family?

Senior pets are the most difficult pets to adopt out. Potential adopters are concerned about impending health problems and fewer years left with a pet they will come to love. These issues seem a moot point, however, when you realize that all pets AGE, and all pets eventually cross the Rainbow Bridge.

What it doesn’t change is that these pets still deserve a loving home to spend their final years. Someone to believe in them, cuddle with them and make their final memories happy, to erase and soothe the memories of being abandoned after ten years or more of giving what every dog gives, LOVE, to a family.

For those senior pets waiting for their forever home, many end up in foster homes because they cannot handle the stress of a shelter environment for extended periods of time with as much ease as younger dogs.

One such senior pup is Gizmo, “Gizzy,” a purebred Papillion that was surrendered at well past ten years of age. Because of Gizzy’s advanced age, he was placed into a foster home. And because of his advanced age, he shows us how amazing adopting an older pet can be!

This is a note his foster mom wrote to us to share Gizzy’s point of view:

Guess what happened yesterday? My foster mom and I were walking down the street and I saw my old dad from a distance! My heart was pounding, I’m crying and jumping up and down because I have missed him so, so much. I couldn’t control myself, but then I realized that it wasn’t him after all. My heart broke all over again.

I’m Gizmo, “Gizzy,” to those that love me. My mom and dad of many years “discarded” my sister and me more than five months ago. We wondered why they didn’t want us anymore, and we sure didn’t see it coming. Geez, we really thought we were a family. So, just as we were getting used to our “cozy run” and missing our old sofa….my baby sister got adopted. I guess they took one look at me and decided they only wanted a younger, prettier version. She also had the straight teeth. I have good teeth too, but have you heard of an “under-bite???”

Would you believe that NO ONE has even come to look at me?  My foster mom (FM) is bewildered because she says I’m so low maintenance and gentle. I never demand anything, I just squeal with affection, and appreciate any old dog bed.  I am a little alpha myself, so I’d be best without other dogs. I don’t have any separation anxiety, so I have the run of the house and quietly wait for my FM to return.

If you have any retired parents that would be interested in an extremely loyal and loving companion, I’m your man!

My typical day involves waking up and going for a walk or just exploring in the back yard. Then I enjoy breakfast of regular dry food, no special diets for me! I spend my morning lounging and gazing out the window, another potty break at lunch, enjoy a treat when I come right back in, and before I know it, it’s time for dinner. I go out one more time before bed and I don’t snore either. Please give me a chance. I’ll steal your heart.

Doesn’t Gizzy sound like the most laid back pet you could ever want? He may be old, but that means he is house-trained, confident (no separation anxiety), calm, and most of all, understands commands.  The benefits of adopting a senior pet FAR outweigh any issues you might be scared of.

But as you can see, Gizzy has been waiting for his new home for a very long time and people don’t even want to consider him. Senior pets hardly ever find a forever home, and most are euthanized as soon as they are surrendered at the local municipal shelters. When you dedicate yourself to your pet, do it for the duration of their life, be that two years or twenty years. They deserve that for what they give to you.

To see more about Gizzy, Click Here!

To learn more about Fostering, Click Here!

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Care-A-Van: What exactly is that program?

Pawmetto Lifeline is dedicated to providing services to pet owners to help keep their pets healthy and in their homes. We know a lot of pet owners are faced with heartbreaking decisions when their pet contracts some life-threatening illness. Many times, without being able to pay for the expensive care to treat the illness, pet owners will surrender their pet to the local shelters to have it euthanized. But this doesn’t have to happen, and prevention is much less expensive than treatment. So Pawmetto Lifeline provides a mobile vaccine service, called Care-A-Van. This service meets community members in THEIR local communities and provides life-saving vaccinations to pets across the Midlands.

Care-A-Van (CAV) is a convenient way for pet owners to be sure their pets are staying up to date on core vaccines and services by providing standard vaccines, heartworm testing, feline combo testing, flea/ heartworm prevention, and basic deworming for healthy dogs and cats. With more than 80 locations and just three vans serving the far reaches of the Midlands and beyond, CAV runs Friday afternoons from 3pm-7pm and all day Saturday and Sunday.

While each Care-A-Van vehicle is staffed with a licensed veterinarian, it is not a replacement for seeing a full service veterinarian. We do not provide full exams or diagnose issues, so we encourage every pet owner to have a relationship with a full service vet clinic to answer any questions about your pet’s health. Care-A-Van IS  here to help pet owners save money on core services, so that they have the extra funds to take their pets to a full service clinic for wellness exams and of course any other health issues. Pets of every age need to see a full service clinic on a regular basis. Having a good relationship with your full service vet can make pet ownership much simpler.

If you want to find out more about Care-A-Van, visit careavansc.org. Because of the nature of the mobile service, Care-A-Van does NOT have a reception staff. Emailing info@careavansc.org will get your information to the right contacts and they will be able to respond more promptly than to phone inquiries. Care-A-Van is also on social media and has a Twitter feed to help you locate the mobile vaccine stops around the state in addition to the website which has the full schedule.

There are also many other mobile vaccine clinics in South Carolina, but we are the ONLY NOT FOR PROFIT mobile vaccine clinic in this state. ALL of the money paid for the services for your pet goes to helping us save homeless pets in the Midlands. More than 11,700 homeless pets die each year, and your patronage of Care-A-Van can help us stop that loss of life.

Be sure to be on the look-out for the Pawmetto Lifeline Care-A-Van signs! And we hope to serve YOU soon at a location in YOUR community!

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They Are Meant to Be Precious, Not Parents

Ahhh, springtime – the time for fresh flowers, green grass, and litters and litters and litters and litters and litters of kittens and puppies.

At Pawmetto Lifeline, spring means something different for us. It means having an insane number of tiny, helpless, homeless pets in our community. To save them, we have to find foster homes for them, get them treated for any illnesses they may have, and finally, try to find them a good home. All of this is incredibly taxing on our already limited resources. And that isn’t the scariest part.

Many kitten and puppy litters end up at municipal shelters where they contract some sort of illness and die very young. If they make it through the first few weeks, there is no guarantee that they will be adopted before their scheduled euthanasia date, usually only five days from the time they come into the municipal shelter. Talk about taxing resources; THIS costs TAXPAYERS millions each year.


What can the community do to address this problem? Well, to begin with, it is education.

Did you know that kittens can go into heat as early as 4 months old and puppies as early as 6 months? That is much earlier than most people expect.

Did you also know that pediatric spay/neuter procedures can occur for the pets as young as 8 weeks old? And typically, these pets bounce back from the surgery much more quickly than their older counterparts. Veterinarians have been doing pediatric spay/neuters for more than 20 years, safely and effectively.

Did you also know there is NO MEDICAL RESEARCH to back up the idea that your pet should go into its first heat before being spayed? In fact, spaying before the first heat has been PROVEN to greatly reduce the risk of mammary cancers in your female cats and dogs.

To help promote the idea of “fixing” your pet when they are young, and to address the overpopulation issue we have here in the Midlands, we are having a June Special on spay/neuter surgeries for puppies and kittens called “Precious, not Parents”, sponsored by PetSmart Charities. For only $20, you can have your pet fixed and put an end to the worry and financial stress of unexpected, unwanted litters. Call our Spay/Neuter Clinic for more details at 803-465-9100!

That $20 fee is far less than what you would be paying to care for a pregnant cat or dog and then caring for their litter.

So be part of the solution. Get your pet spayed or neutered before their first heat and help us make it to springtime being just about the flowers.

by: Taylor Wilson, Director of Marketing and Communications, Pawmetto Lifeline

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