Pawmetto Lifeline - Formerly Project Pet

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August 31, 2010

Pawmetto Lifeline names Wilkinson CEO

COLUMBIA, S.C. Pawmetto Lifeline, formerly Project Pet, has named Denise Wilkinson as its new CEO.

Ms. Wilkinson, a 22-year veteran of nonprofit work, was most recently assistant vice president for development with the Sisters of Charity Health System, where she managed and implemented fund-raising strategies for three of the Sisters' ministries.

In her new role, Ms. Wilkinson will complete the public phase of Pawmetto Lifeline's $6.5 million capital campaign, raise operational funds for the organization's new no-kill facility, and work with state and local governments regarding pet quality-of-life issues.

"I have always been drawn to the not-for-profit world, as I have a deep desire to help those in need," said Ms. Wilkinson. "My position with Pawmetto Lifeline will give me the opportunity to help humans as well as our companion pets."

She said when she started working with Project Pet as a volunteer 9 years ago, "I was shocked to learn that we as a community had 23,000 pets abandoned by their owners every year, euthanized over 19,000 of them and spent more than $3 million in taxes to run the local municipal shelters. In my mind, this was not a good use of our taxes."

She concluded that Project Pet, which became Pawmetto Lifeline on Aug. 12, had the right plan for addressing the problem, transforming Lexington and Richland counties into a "no-kill" community, ultimately saving money as well as countless lives.

As vice president of Project Pet's board of trustees, Ms. Wilkinson has been intimately involved in strategic planning for the organization. That means she has played a pivotal role in bringing the organization to the point where it stands as she takes over day-to-day operations: With a new name, a $6.5 million capital campaign mostly completed, and the organization's state-of-the-art new facility beginning to rise on Bower Parkway.

About Pawmetto Lifeline

Since 1999, Project Pet which became Pawmetto Lifeline on Aug. 12, the same day it broke ground on its new home 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 how to get involved at

About Denise Wilkinson

Denise Wilkinson has worked for non-profits for 22 years, most recently as assistant vice president for development with the Sisters of Charity Health System. She has served on the board of trustees of Project Pet which became Pawmetto Lifeline on Aug. 12 for almost nine years. As the organization's vice president, she was involved with strategic planning, and served on the committee for the construction of the coming Meyer-Finlay Pet Adoption Center of Lexington and Richland Counties. In 2009, she received the TWIN Award for Volunteerism from the YWCA for her work with the organization. For more about the Pawmetto Lifeline staff, go to: