August 22, 2010
Project Pet breaks ground on new no-kill center, becomes Pawmetto LifelineCOLUMBIA, S.C. - "Let's do this!" cried Austin Meyer, and he pounced upon the unbroken ground with his shovel, eager to get the new shelter that will bear his name built.
Mr. Meyer, who along with his wife Lane gave $1.5 million to make Project Pet's dream of a no-kill facility for rescuing, spaying and neutering, and finding homes for homeless dogs and cats, is a get-it-done kind of guy. And Project Pet, which on the day of the ground-breaking changed its name to Pawmetto Lifeline to more directly state its mission, is a get-it-done kind of organization.
Project Pet has been around since 1999. It started with the activism of some well-connected local folks such as Deloris Mungo, Samuel Tenenbaum and a host of others. With the groundbreaking for the organization's new home on Bower Parkway (near Harbison), it's about to take a giant leap into realizing the dream of the founders and others who have worked to advance the cause over the past decade.
In 2008, more than 23,000 companion animals entered the municipal animal shelters in Richland and Lexington counties. More than 19,000 of these animals were euthanized.
Pawmetto Lifeline's goal is to reduce that number to zero. Success will be achieved when no healthy, treatable, adoptable pet is euthanized in Lexington or Richland counties. A giant leap in that direction was the ground-breaking Aug. 12 on the new facility - the Meyer-Finlay Pet Adoption Center of Lexington and Richland Counties.
With the new facility, Pawmetto Lifeline will be able to rescue an additional 2,200 cats and dogs annually from shelters - up from the current rate of 800 annually - which means 3,000 animals that otherwise would not have a chance will live full and healthy lives. And with the addition of full-time vets and a medical clinic in the new building, the organization will be able to spay and neuter more than 30,000 animals annually.
This operation is a public-private enterprise. Richland and Lexington counties have formed a partnership with Pawmetto Lifeline to address the over-population issue of companion pets in the two counties - which is why several members of the Lexington and Richland county councils were among the standing-room-only crowd at the ground-breaking, including Debbie Summers, Smokey Davis, Johnny Jeffcoat, John Carrigg, Jim Manning, Norman Jackson and Bill Malinowski.
About Pawmetto Lifeline
Since 1999, Project Pet - now Pawmetto Lifeline - has been the conscience of compassion for the Midlands community and a vital area resource for humane care for abandoned and homeless animals. The organization's purpose is one of devotion to responsible and compassionate care for the homeless animals of the community, and of fostering the animal-human bond. The core purpose of Pawmetto Lifeline is to promote and practice the principle that every life is precious. Learn more at http://www.x-plane.com/, and read about Mr. Meyer at http://techhaze.com/2010/03/interview-with-x-plane-creator-austin-meyer/.