February is HEART month at Pawmetto Lifeline. HEART, Help Every Animal Reach Tomorrow, a program of Pawmetto Lifeline, partners with rescue organizations throughout the country in an effort to move homeless pets from the municipal shelters in the Midlands to no-kill animal rescue organizations that can provide the necessary medical care and training to ensure a successful adoption for each pet. We are happy to say that through our combined efforts we have been able to save more than 3,700 lives since July 2011 through HEART. Collaboration is the best way to address such a difficult problem. By working together, we can save even more lives.
Every day, thousands of healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized across the country. Not because they are mean, or ill, or even unloved. But simply because there are too many animals in need and not enough resources available. HEART is the Midlands’ response to this problem. HEART stands for help every animal reach tomorrow and by working together we hope to do just that.
Our dedicated staff goes into the municipal shelters of the Midlands every day and looks into the faces of the animals in need. We work daily to help our community become a no-kill community, meaning that no healthy, treatable, adoptable animal dies simply because it is homeless.
From death row to adoption row
The problem is bigger than one organization can fix alone. HEART brings together more than 150 like-minded 501(c)3 rescue organizations and groups from around the country (and a few in Canada), that want to help us save these animals. What makes all the difference is the dedication from our staff, partners, and the municipal shelters themselves to find a better way. A better way to save lives. A better way to work together. A better way to help every animal reach tomorrow.
What can you do?
If you’re a rescue organization, click here to learn more about becoming a placement partner.
Even though HEART works with rescue organizations to pull animals, individuals can help us save these cats and dogs by providing medical and transport sponsorships. To sponsor pets on death row and help them have a chance, visit our donate page.
Ten Ways To Be A Better Pet Owner in 2013
- Have your pets spayed or neutered!
The Pawmetto Lifeline Spay/Neuter Clinic offers great pricing on surgeries. Call 803-465-9100 to schedule an appointment. Getting your pet altered prevents from adding to the pet overpopulation problem and it can solve some bad behaviors!
- Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccines.
Vaccines keep your pet healthy and keep you from having to pay costly vet bills. Pawmetto Lifeline offers affordable vaccines through our Care-A-Van mobile vaccine service and on Fridays (and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month) through our Spay/Neuter Clinic. Check out www.careavansc.com or call 465-9100 for more information.
- Get your pet’s teeth cleaned.
Dental issues can cause major health problems for pets just like in humans. Pawmetto Lifeline’s Spay/Neuter Clinic offers affordable dental cleaning services for dogs. Call 465-9100 to schedule an appointment.
- Sponsor a rescue.
Each year 20,000 pets just like yours are surrendered to our two local municipal shelters. Unfortunately, 80% of those pets will be euthanized. By sponsoring a rescue you make it possible for us to save more lives. Donate now at http://pawmettolifeline.org/donate/.
- Work with your pet on learning something new.
The time that you spend together will be stimulating for both of you and help you to develop a closer relationship. Your pet will enjoy the satisfaction of having a new trick to show off, too!
- Make sure your pets get enough exercise.
Being overweight can cause many of the same problems in pets that it causes in humans. Helping your pet to stay in shape can help your pet live a better quality life for much longer!
- Brush your pet regularly.
Brushing your pet will keep your house cleaner because shedding will be contained. It also helps keep your pet’s coat shiny and healthy.
- Make sure your pet is playing with safe toys.
If your pet swallows a toy part it can cause a painful obstruction that is very expensive to fix and can be deadly.
- Give your pet flea and heartworm medication all year.
Heartworms are a threat to all pets – not just dogs. Fleas are also a problem year round in South Carolina. It is vital for your pet’s health to stay on these preventative medications. Pawmetto Lifeline offers affordable heartworm and flea preventative products through our Care-A-Van mobile vaccine service and at the Spay/Neuter Clinic.
- Plan for your pet’s future.
If something happens to you, then what will happen to your pet? Do you have a plan for who will take care of your pet? Pawmetto Lifeline can work with you to set up a gift to provide for the care of your pet. Contact us at 465-9150 about planned gifts to protect your pet’s welfare.
Pawmetto Lifeline would like to wish everyone the best of luck in 2013!
Our Families Foster Experience, The Owens’ Family
We lost our dear rat terrier Rhett to cancer after 12 years of having him in our life. His death left a HUGE hole in our family. We thought we would eventually get another dog to fill the void, but decided our baby boy could never be replaced. We decided to use the love in our hearts for Rhett and share it with animals in need of love. Through the foster program with Pawmetto Lifeline we have gotten to love and nurture soooo many awesome animals. We have really enjoyed teaching shelter animals what it means to be loved by a family. Many of them have never had that kind of love and nurturing in their lives. We have even gotten to foster new born puppies and kittens which is something my kids would NEVER get to do with our own pets since I get them spayed and neutered. Letting go of these animals always leaves a lump in our throat, but we remind ourselves that there are a LOT of animals out there that need us. I think that Rhett is happy watching us pass our love for him onto Pawmetto Lifeline’s shelter pets.
To learn more about Pawmetto Lifeline’s Foster Program, click here.
Today is National Feral Cat Day! In honor of our outdoor feline friends, we wanted to share some information about feral cats and Pawmetto Lifeline’s TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) policy. Our policy is designed to manage the feral cat population in the Midlands through humane spay & neuter measures that have been proven to work, not “catch and kill” initiatives, which do not.
Many feral cats live short, harsh lives since their existence is focused on survival and reproduction… unless they have been spayed or neutered. In the Midlands, out of the 17,000 dogs and cats who are euthanized in local shelters each year, approximately 60% of those are cats. Sadly, for feral cats, that percentage goes up to 100%. Because feral cats are not socialized to people and are not adoptable, the current municipal shelter policy is automatic euthanasia. However, eradication efforts are just temporary fixes that do nothing to control or slow feral population growth. Cats are prolific breeders (no infertility issues for them!) so for every cat that’s simply removed from an un-managed colony, there are always plenty more to take it’s place. (Learn more about the “vacuum effect”and why catch & kill doesn’t work.)
But, when TNR practices are applied to a feral cat colony, the problem becomes manageable, benefiting both the feral cats and the community. In TNR, feral cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (the universal symbol of an altered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their colony. Over time, the colony’s population will stabilize (no more kittens!) and their lives will improve. Not only does the colony’s growth slow, the behaviors and stresses associated with mating and over-population stop. In a healthy feral community, cats can live long, robust lives, content in their outdoor home. There’s also an added benefit to the domestic and stray (non-feral) cat population; rescue efforts for adoptable cats can increase when feral cats are no longer creating a drain on limited shelter resources! (Wondering what the difference is between feral and stray cats? Check out this great article from Alley Cat Allies, “Feral and Stray Cats—An Important Difference”.)
Pawmetto Lifeline’s Feral Cat/TNR program has been designed to facilitate responsible management of the feral cat population in the Midlands. For a low fee, members of the public can bring feral cats to our clinic Mondays-Thursdays. They will then be spay or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped. If you are interested in participating, please review our website for more information. If you have noticed a colony near you and you have any questions about how to start the TNR process, please review the “Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook”; Alley Cat Allies, “Conduct TNR Guide“; or call our clinic at 803-465-9100.
To learn more about feral cats and trap/neuter/release programs please visit Alley Cat Allies, Neighborhood Cats, and the ASPCA Feral Cat FAQ and join us in our efforts to protect and nurture our feral feline friends!
Pawmetto Lifeline Foster, C. Jones
It’s a bit of a challenge trying to verbally express, and do justice to, the unparalleled joy I get from fostering puppies. Although I have loved dogs since I was a little girl, I imagine a therapist would say something about it having to do with the fact that I was adopted. Perhaps it does, in some deep down inside place, but no matter. I foster because it brings me so much happiness helping something so innocent.
I fell into fostering quite by accident. A seemingly lost German Shepherd jumped into my fiancé’s car late one afternoon. Poor dog had no id tags; no microchip; nothing but a wagging tail and a huge appetite. We tried everything from Facebook to posters to calling vets to find his family, but to no avail. Through a series of calls to a friend, as well as a friend of my friend, Pawmetto Lifeline helped me save him. The dog was given medical care, then sent home with me, to foster, til his forever home could be found. This was my first experience helping dogs who for whatever reason had been abandoned. It gave me such a strong sense of purpose. An overwhelming feel of satisfaction in doing what was right and necessary. It took just a few days to find a perfect match for him. I’m not sure who was smiling more, me, his new mom, or the handsome boy we gave a second chance to.
I was hooked on that feeling from then on. I knew I had found the perfect use of my time and energy. I was still adjusting to life here in the South, and feeling practically foreign. Dogs know no cultural differences. I knew I could help give them a fresh start. And with the puppies, I knew I could give them a great beginning. What better reason is there than that? Puppies are bright eyed, little fluff balls, filled with wonder and unconditional love. Puppies are not just about endless “accidents.” They’re about endless kisses, and non-stop tail wagging. How could they not bring a smile to my face, along with warmth to my heart, every minute that we’re together? They’re so small, so dependent, with that sweet breath, and those not so sweet nips at your heels. For me, fostering is a no-brainer. It’s an amazing feeling knowing you’ve helped someone start off right.
Every day in animal shelters across the Midlands many owners are surrendering their companion pets to local municipal shelters.
The reason for surrendering a pet can be as simple as not having the financial resources to feed their pet.
Pawmetto Lifeline’s Pet Soup Program is a pet food bank that assists individuals with this basic resource so pet owners can afford to keep their dog or cat. We have food distributions once per month to approximately 100 clients. Each client receives about 40 pounds of food, totaling 4,000 pounds per month distributed.
You can help us continue to offer this valuable resource to the community. Monetary donations are needed for us to purchase food in bulk through Rescue Bank to distribute to our clients. Currently, we are collecting pet food donations, but it is not enough to fulfill the demand.
Can you give up eating out for lunch or dinner this week and donate the money saved to help feed a pet in need? Just $10 can help us to provide food for pets of low–income families right here the in the Midlands.
Pet Soup is also a volunteer driven program and we are always in need of volunteers to help prepare the food donations.
Help keep pets from entering the municipal shelters and help pet owners who depend on our Pet Food Bank to feed their four-legged companions.
Written by: Bess, Pawmetto Lifeline foster parent
We are a foster family because I want to teach my son by example that it’s important to give on a daily basis, not just once a year or just on days we can write a check. Fostering is a way to contribute and really make a direct difference in a life (or two) – we don’t have to settle for being a drop in the bucket.
We currently are fostering Pickles, a 10-year-old shepherd mix. He came to us a little uncertain about strangers but he’s made terrific progress. We have lots of family and friends around and he is learning that strangers don’t have to mean danger. He’s hilarious – when he gets excited he barks and little tufts of fur shoot out like dandelion fluff and he has a great “supper dance.” He’s a major snuggler and is a very quiet, low-energy fellow. He’s learning to enjoy rides in the car and graciously tolerates our very spoiled, jealous other dog. He’s such a sweetie –I can see the gratitude and peace in those big eyes.
I sleep just a little better at night knowing that we are freeing up a spot in the rescue system for another life.
A special thank you to all of our supporters and volunteers for naming us the 2012 Free Times Best Activist Group or Effort.
Pawmetto Lifeline is 501(c)3 not-for-profit animal rescue organization solving pet overpopulation.
In the Midlands, over 21,000 homeless dogs and cats enter municipal shelters in Lexington and Richland Counties. Over 18,000 of those same pets are euthanized simply because they are homeless. Pawmetto Lifeline believes that this is morally and ethically wrong and there is a better way to solve this problem.
We have researched the most successful programs in the country and we have brought the best practice models back to our community. Through our adoption, rescue, medical, and education programs it is our goal to turn the Midlands into a no-kill community. Through these four initiatives, we have a proven solution to transform the Midlands into a no-kill community, meaning no healthy adoptable animal is euthanized simply because it is homeless.
With the support of the community, we can solve pet overpopulation and save the lives of homeless pets in the Midlands. Thank you for caring and supporting our mission!
To learn more about our mission or for volunteer opportunities, visit pawmettolifeline.org.
Written by: Alexandra, Current Pawmetto Lifeline foster parent
Being a foster parent was something I kept putting off until I had “more time,” “more space,” “less stress,” etc. Always had an excuse why I didn’t do it, but finally one day I decided I’d try it – after all I can always give him or her back and say there just was not enough space. But once I started, I realized the benefits of always having a new face to see and a new tail wagging waiting for me to get home is worth compromising a few extra square feet and time every day.
I have two wonderful dogs of my own, and I now foster about a dog a month. My first one was with an adult daschund named Roper. He came with his own crate, food, toys and bowls. He was a happy dog despite having his owner turning him in. He played all day with my dogs and was adopted at the very first adoption he was able to attend.
Several foster dogs later I now have (what we believe to be) a chow mix puppy. She came to me at six weeks old with no name as she was just found. Now named Kody, she’s still stumbling around the house practicing her motor skills and trying to fit in with my dogs. She’s a little fluff ball full of love waiting for a permanent home. She just adds more sunshine and happiness into the family and entertains my own two boys (canine). I will be sad to let her go, but know I can’t keep her if I want to continue helping the long term goal – of keeping one more kennel open for rescuing just one more loving animal waiting for just a chance.
For more information on becoming a foster, visit pawmettolifeline.org.
While we are so excited about being in the new Meyer Finlay Pet Adoption Center AND we will be able to save so many more lives, I find myself disappointed every day with mankind. This is a photo of a 15-year old Yorkie that was surrendered to one of the local municipal shelters. This dog has a bad wound to her head and weighs half what she should weigh. For the most part, this little Yorkie will require a great deal of TLC and simply cleaning the wound to her head several times a day. What is amazing to me is that as soon as she arrived at our clinic, she was able to stand and was interested in eating, which showed me she had a desire to live. Her eyes were still gazing at us with hope.
This is my question: Why would anyone take a beloved pet to a local municipal shelter? Especially an elderly pet in this condition. We all know the local municipal shelters are overwhelmed with too many pets and they have limited care that they can provide to the animals that are surrendered. It was obvious to us that this was a purebred Yorkshire Terrier with a beautiful coat that someone at some point paid a great deal of money for when she was a puppy. So a person can afford to pay $400 to $2500 for a purebred, but can’t afford to provide medical care and ensure that their beloved pet lies in the hands of the person that loved her for 15 years as they cross rainbow bridge?
I hear the excuse of money all the time when it comes to the care for a pet. Well, many times I find that statement to be an acceptable excuse by our society and an easy way out for the owner to abandon the pet with little to no guilt associated with their action. Even in this tough economy, I still see most everyone walking around with the latest, greatest technology or the top name brand apparel. So I have to wonder if denying your pet care has more to do with priorities than money. It isn’t easy watching our pets or our parents grow old, feeble, and helpless but I would hope if you truly love the elderly that you will make their dying process as loving and compassionate as possible.
Thank goodness there are good people in this state that are willing to support Pawmetto Lifeline’s mission of extending love and compassion to those who have no voice. We are faced with this every day as we look in the eyes of much healthier adoptable dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies in our local municipal shelters that must die because someone made an irresponsible decision. Thank goodness for the more than 120 partners that we now have at Pawmetto Lifeline that work with us every day to try and save these companions from euthanasia.
This behavior will change when it becomes shameful by our society to do such. The problem is everyone does it: the educated, uneducated, poor, and affluent. Within the last month, a minister walked into our center and behaved in a way that would be shocking to most. He had found a stray dog and wanted to accept NO responsibility for helping this helpless creature.
So the next time, someone tells you they took a stray or family pet to a municipal shelter, simply say “HOW COULD YOU?” Perhaps it will begin a dialogue that will help educate people and make such decisions unacceptable in our society.
If you care and are willing to help you can make the right decision. Pawmetto Lifeline has numerous resources that can help you but require partnership and patience.
Denise Wilkinson, CEO