Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 17, 2010

PAWS gives shelter animals extra chance to find new home

PRINCETON — Sometimes a homeless dog or cat needs an extra chance if it is to find a good owner that will care for it and do what is necessary to make sure no new litters of homeless puppies and kittens arrive to take its place.

Volunteers with Protecting Animals with Sterilization (PAWS) have been providing foster homes for dogs and cats that face euthanasia because shelters have no space for them, said Lori Salyer, PAWS’ founder and director.

“We don’t have a rescue facility mainly because we don’t have the funding for it, so we rely solely on volunteers who can foster the dogs and cats,” she said.

“And then we also partner with a veterinarian’s office and they sometimes, if they have room, keep some of the animals for us,” Salyer said.

PAWS places these pets in new homes by working with a network of other rescue organizations, she said. Some are in other parts of the country which do not have as much of a pet overpopulation due to the enforcement of spaying and neutering laws, so not as many homeless pets are available for adoption.

However, taking dogs and cats to these other areas does not alleviate the problem of pet overpopulation.

“Basically, what we say is that people need to spay and neuter their pets,” Salyer said. “You cannot rescue your way out of this problem.”

In many instances, there are “repeat offenders” who do not spay or neuter their dogs and cats, then simply dump the unwanted litters at animal shelters or along the side of a road, she said.

“It’s going to just take people to step up to the plate and be reasonable and get their animals spayed or neutered,” she added.

In some instances, pet owners cannot afford the neutering or spaying procedure.

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