INDIAN LAND — When Gloria Davey founded Paws in the Panhandle Rescue and Adoption in 2010, she wanted to give the animals of Lancaster County a voice.
“At that time, thousands were being put to death each year in this county alone, 85 percent of which were adoptable,” Davey said. “Something had to be done.”
So Davey, retired from a 35-year career in the computer industry, founded Paws in the Panhandle as a way to give back while being involved in something she truly enjoyed.
“I love the saying ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ so I try to live by this motto,” said Davey.
The organization is committed to reducing the euthanasia of adoptable pets within the community by rescuing and adopting out animals from area shelters. It also plans to open a no-kill shelter to house animals while they wait for forever homes.
“We only take in animals from kill shelters where they have already been discarded, abandoned or left to die for some reason such as moving, divorce, behavioral issues or incompatibility issues,” said Davey.
To date, she has rescued 154 animals from the Panhandle area, including Lancaster and portions of South Charlotte.
In addition to rescue and adoption, Davey educates the community on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.
“All our pets are spayed or neutered at adoption or shortly thereafter if age prohibits (it) prior to adoption,” said Davey.
Since the organization is foster-based until the no-kill shelter is built, it is always looking for new foster parents. Volunteers can also help their efforts by helping at fundraising and adoption events, assisting with administrative tasks like record keeping and website maintenance or by transporting animals to and from vet visits and adoption fairs.
Volunteers and donations are also needed at the group’s thrift store, PAWSitively Thrifty, located in Building 7, Warehouse 737 of the Zimmer Business Park at 429 Marvin Road in Indian Land.
The shop is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and sells household items including linens, kitchenware and appliances, and clothes, shoes, sports equipment, office equipment, children and baby items, games, toys, bedding and more. They also sell dog and cat supplies such as pet food, beds, toys, collars and leashes.
Any gently used household items or pet items are welcomed and can be dropped off during business hours at the thrift store. All donations are tax deductible.
Davey believes the only way to lead Lancaster County to a truly no-kill status is to have a facility, so they have been focusing their efforts during the past years on acquiring one.
“Our focus is to save lives and we have done a great job at doing just that given the fact that we are foster based, but in order to really make a difference, we must have a facility to house animals where they can properly be quarantined and cared for prior to them finding their forever home,” Davey said.
She said she hopes to make an announcement soon about the shelter project. In the meantime, Paws is trying to make a difference, one animal at a time, Davey said.
“With each pet we save and with each step closer to having a facility where hundreds can be saved each year, this labor of love position I hold with Paws in the Panhandle makes it all worthwhile and I would do it all over again,” she said. “Together we will make a difference.”