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Mews from the Cat Room

Location: Lexington PetSmart
August 18, 2014

Welcome to the first installment of Mews from the Cat Room! The purpose of this blog will be to keep all of Pawmetto’s wonderful supporters and volunteers up-to-date about our off-site animal care facilities at local PetSmart stores. Just in case you aren’t aware, there are three PetSmart’s in our area where Pawmetto houses some of our feline friends: Harbison, Lexington, and Two Notch. Each facility has regularly scheduled volunteers for AM and PM shifts, and depending on needs or availability, an afternoon shift. These volunteers also use an email chain to update each other about any happenings or updates during their shifts.

Today’s cute kitty spotlight is on Olivia.

Olivia is a female orange tabby roughly 1 ½ years old. Can you believe this little girl has already had a litter of kittens? But now that her motherly duties are behind her, she deserves a bright future. Olivia has been at PetSmart for a few weeks now, but has yet to come out of her condo as it takes her a little longer than others to get comfortable. She does love affection, though! She talks and wiggles all around when petted, and will even turn to give kisses and love bites.

This shy girl is also pretty playful. She gently bats around toys and wands, and will give you “the paw” when you begin to pull away. (“The paw” is when a cat places his or her paw on you to let you know “Hey! I want attention and I choose you!”)

As with all animals at Pawmetto Lifeline, Olivia has been spayed, has received her microchip, is up-to-date on vaccinations, had her FIV/FELV combo tests, and is on monthly flea and heartworm preventatives. If you’re willing to give this wonderful gal some time to settle in, she is sure to warm your house and heart in the long run.

Check out more about Olivia!

by Courtney Long, Volunteer and Foster, Pawmetto Lifeline

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Why I Volunteer at Pawmetto Lifeline…

My name is Rebecca Chase and I am a rising senior at Lexington High School. This summer, I have spent a pretty good amount of time volunteering at Pawmetto Lifeline, and I can honestly say that I can’t think of a better way that I could have spent my last real summer as a high school student.

I’ve always loved working with animals, and volunteering here is such a rewarding experience. It’s so fulfilling to see the work that you do directly affecting lives. I spent one Saturday doing Pet Soup, and even though it had to be at least a thousand degrees outside, and everyone kept somehow misplacing water bottles, it was one of the best days of my entire summer.

Seeing the people and pets that you know you are directly helping out is really one of my favorite things about volunteering here. I also love how the volunteer opportunities available aren’t just limited to cleaning cat cages or walking dogs. One day I could come and be making phone calls to Care-A-Van clients and the next day I could be painting faces at an adoption event.

The hours that you can come in are very flexible, and because I have a job and school related things to do on a regular basis, it’s nice to have that flexibility. Volunteering here is also a great stress reliever for me. Pawmetto Lifeline is always a very welcoming and positive atmosphere, and it’s absolutely impossible to be upset surrounded by all of the adorable pets. I haven’t met anyone that works or volunteers here that isn’t absolutely fabulous. Every day that I come in there are new faces and new challenges, and I haven’t had a single day that was even remotely boring.

The organization as a whole is also a major part of my deciding factor on coming here, I really appreciating the values and the standards that Pawmetto Lifeline possesses. I don’t volunteer here for a community service requirement, for a school assignment, or because I have nothing better to do, I just genuinely enjoy devoting time to something so worthwhile but also so fun at the same time. I strongly encourage anyone at any age or place in their life to give some time to Pawmetto Lifeline. It’s fun, easy, and one of the most rewarding and unforgettable experiences there is.

By Rebecca Chase, Pawmetto Lifeline Volunteer and Intern

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“Primp Your Pit” is Back!

Pit Bulls have become the centerpiece to an unbelievably cruel world. They are the victim to over breeding, neglect, and violence; only to find themselves behind a shelter door where they will ultimately be euthanized. Shelters are overflowing with Pit Bulls due to intentional and unintentional backyard breeding. There simply are not enough homes or resources to save them.

An estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in the United States every year. Of this number, an estimated 800,000- 1 million of these animals are Pit Bulls. These facts present the gruesome reality that between 2,000-3,000 Pit Bulls are euthanized in a single day.

It is crucial to the future of this beloved breed, for Pit Bull owners to understand spaying and neutering is the only solution we have to ending the number of Pit Bulls being euthanized in the US. Spaying and neutering is the only way to end over population and to prevent unwanted litters.

A few additional reasons why you should spay or neuter your pet:

• A female dog can go into her first heat cycle as early as four months of age. A single female dog can produce two litters of 6-10 puppies a year. In six years that female and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs.

• Dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to roam. Your pet is less likely to get lost, end up in a shelter, or be injured.

• Spaying prevents breast cancer and uterine infection in females. Neutering lowers the risk of testicular cancer in males.

• Rather than breeding your own pet, spay or neuter them and adopt a Pit Bull from a local shelter instead. Your own pet’s health will benefit and you will save a life by adopting a homeless animal.

The entire month of August at Pawmetto Lifeline Spay/Neuter Clinic is going to the Pits- and their mixes. In collaboration with Petsmart Charities, Pawmetto Lifeline will be promoting Pit owners  to “Primp Your Pit” by offering spaying or neutering for only $20 for Pit Bull/Pit Bull mixes and free microchipping. There are no income or county restrictions to this grant.

Take the pledge to be part of the solution to end the number of Pit Bulls being euthanized by spaying and neutering your Pit Bull. Call our clinic at 803-465-9100 for more details. Save lives. Support the breed. Primp your Pit.

Take a look at our photo campaigns we did to kick off our Primp Your Pit grant this year!

by Caitlin Gomez, Spay/Neuter Clinic Office Manager, Pawmetto Lifeline

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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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