I’ve got to say – an animal shelter in rural Kentucky definitely has its work cut out for it. Like every shelter, there is never enough money or space. PAWS raises over 80% of our budget (approximately 250K) every year to help each animal that comes to us. PAWS gets in about 1700 animals every year; mostly cats and dogs, but occasionally horses, pigs, goats, and all manner of pocket pets. We have to be ready for anything. We take in every animal that comes to our doors, and we don’t discriminate based on whether an animal is highly adoptable, sweet tempered, or won’t require much care on our part.
Through hard work and the incredible dedication of all the people that make up PAWS, we are able to find most of them homes. Our dog adoption rate is 90%, and our cat adoption rate is 70% - and growing! We have not had to euthanize an animal for space in over a year - and that’s not because we have space in abundance! PAWS optimizes every resource we have, whether that is staff knowledge, volunteers, or funds so that we can continue carrying out our mission.
We are continually enhancing our care at the shelter so that each animal receives the best care we can provide. The money raised from this Challenge will be used to build a community cat room for the cats as they await their forever homes. We want a place our cats can live, play, nap, and just be normal cats while they are at the shelter. Ideally, this room will provide a low-stress environment for the cats, which will reduce illness, anxiety, and fear. By creating this room, we will improve the care we are able to give and ultimately save more lives.