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 today 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. Here’s an excerpt from the Web site:
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.
What we are all about is reducing that number to zero. That’s the dream, and we’re going to make it a reality. Actually, perhaps “dream” is too insubstantial a word. We are approaching our goal systematically and pragmatically. We have developed, and are well on the way to implementing, a solid plan employing specific, identified solutions – solutions that have been proven to work. Wishful thinking is not our way.
How will we know we’ve succeeded? 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 our new facility on Bower Parkway – the Meyer-Finlay Pet Adoption Center of Lexington and Richland Counties.
Of course, we’ve already accomplished a great deal. 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 our abandoned and homeless animals. Our legacy is one of devotion to responsible and compassionate care for the homeless animals of our 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.
Since our founding, we have rescued over 6,000 animals that would have been put to death otherwise.
When our new home is ready, we’ll be able to do so much more.
We will be able to rescue an additional 2,200 cats and dogs annually from shelters – up from our current rate of 800 annually – which means 3,000 animals that otherwise would not have a chance will live full and healthy lives. More than that, we will be working to break the cycle that has in the past led to hopelessness for so many helpless creatures: With the addition of full-time vets and a medical clinic housed in our new building, we will be able to spay and neuter more than 30,000 animals annually.
In our new building, one staff veterinarian will be able to spay or neuter 7,560 animals each year. But we aren’t going to have just one vet – eventually, we will house four. That adds up to a potential 30,240 procedures per year!
An important thing to note: This operation is a public-private deal. Richland and Lexington counties have formed a partnership with Pawmetto Lifeline to address the over-population issue of companion pets in the two counties. The counties are depending on the organization to provide:
- an aggressive spay and neuter program that includes a mobile component that will focus on rural areas.
- a no-cost spay/neuter voucher program
- adoptions for a minimum of 2,400 dogs and cats from the two counties’ animal shelters.
- an education program that focuses on proper care for companion pets, including not only such basics as food, water, and shelter, but proper annual medical care.
- animal behavior training.