Going to the Dogs

Pool hosts special swim for pooches

The Inter-Mountain photos by Joan Ashley Charlotte Nolan and her Cairn terrier paddle together in the Franklin Town Pool during a special benefit event.

FRANKLIN — Doggies paddled around the Franklin Town Pool and went “dawg wild” last Wednesday to benefit Pendleton County homeless animals.

The special event allowed owners to enjoy swimming with their dogs and support the Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter.

The PAWS fundraiser has proved successful for the past six years, after pool director Frisky Lambert agreed to allow the pool “to go to the dogs” as the water was being drained for the end of the summer season.

PAWS is a nonprofit group that was incorporated by local volunteers in 2006 to provide help for stray, lost or abused county animals. PAWS volunteers hope to eventually have a county shelter as a more permanent refuge.

The lack of a shelter is a real hardship, according to Jane Seegar, board of directors vice president.

Marilyn Propst guides Ruffles and Ringo, miniature Collies, in the Franklin Town Pool during a special benefit event.

“We have made do with dedicated volunteer foster homes to keep dogs and cats until PAWS gets them into further rescue or adoption. We provide food, transportation, vaccinations and medical care,” Seegar said.

In its first 10 years, PAWS has neutered more than 750 dogs and 1,100 cats, and the agency has moved more than 800 pets into rescue and adoption. It answers hundreds of voicemail calls from local residents with animal welfare concerns each year.

“We desperately need more volunteers and members to help with our many successful programs to help these needy animals,” Seegar added.

Those interested in PAWS can call 304-358-DOGG (3644); visit the group’s Facebook page or go to www.pendletonpawswv.com.

Along with providing interim shelter for stray and unwanted companion animals, PAWS provides medical care, vaccinations and sterilization of all animals prior to adoption or rescue; provides the same for caught and released feral cats; strives to place animals in permanent and loving homes; or transports them to more populated no-kill shelters or into foster care until adoption.

PAWS endeavors to reduce the number of unwanted animals through educational programs and spay and neuter assistance. The group provides pet owners with the information needed to provide a loving home and care for a pet, and it promotes humane care and treatment of all animals in Pendleton County.

PAWS receives a grant from the Pendleton County Commission and help from local law enforcement. It applies for other grants, asks for contributions and organizes fundraisers, such as the Spring Fest Fun Dog Show; an annual spayghetti event; a bingo night with a silent auction; a concession stand for the Country Store Opry performances; a summer-long flea market sale in Franklin; and various information and membership booths at local events.

Local veterinary Dr. Greg Bowers aids PAWS in its spay-neuter program.

“Due to the high homeless pet population in the county and the educational opportunity to promote spay/neuter programs and vaccinations for healthier pets, I believe PAWS provides a much-needed service in Pendleton County. A humane shelter would be another valuable and much-needed asset. There are plenty of good, responsible people who would be willing to adopt a new pet,” Bowers stated.

“Hopefully, a shelter in our county would provide a responsible option to deal with unwanted animals and give these animals a real chance to be adopted and live a good quality life. They are God’s creatures — they certainly deserve that chance,” Bowers added.

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